Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Who was Melusine? Water Fairy, Mermaid or Serpent?



Photo of Starbucks Coffee Bag
Have you ever looked at the Starbucks logo and wondered who or what that mythological creature was on it? Some say she is a mermaid, some say she is a siren and others a sea nymph. In actuality the beautiful maiden that is shown with a crown upon her head and two mermaid-like tails is none other than a "Melusine."
 

What is a Melusine, you ask? Let's go back in time to see the origins of this mythological creature whose tales date back to the Medieval times.



In ancient stories the tale of Melusine (sometimes Melusina) is spoken in reference to a water fairy who was stricken with a condition of being half-woman and half-fish (or serpentine) every Saturday. The tales were fabled to have started around spinning wheels, meaning that women were gossiping and telling stories while working.  As the story went, for long as Melusine's husband didn't see her on that one particular day of the week, all would fair well for everyone. As most fairy tales or legends usually go, nothing ever goes according to plan.

Two-Tailed Siren (15th Century)
Melusine, the daughter of Pressina a full-fledged water fairy and the daughter of a mortal man, King Elinas (or King Helmas) wasn't always a mermaid/serpentine creature. According to the myth and legend stories, she was stricken with this ailment or condition after her mother found out what Melusine did to her father, King Elinas.

King Elinas had met Pressina at the "fontaine de la soif" (Fountain of Thirst) and fell madly in love with her instantly. He then asked for her hand in marriage. Pressina agreed to marry the king under the condition that he never enter into her chambers during or just after childbirth. Shortly after the marriage she became pregnant with triplets and soon thereafter gave birth to three daughters Melusine, Melior, and Plantina. King Elinas' curiosity got the best of him after his elder son (from a previous marriage) insisted that he go in and see his wife and new babies. Pressina was so overcome with sadness because her king had broken his promise, that she takes the babies and runs away off to a hidden island, Cephalonia.

When the daughters are teenagers, Pressina takes the girls to look upon their father's realm. She tells the girls about the promise their father broke and Melusine decides to seek revenge against her father. She convinces her two other sisters to help her kidnap their father and imprison him inside of a mountain. Once Pressina finds out about this, she becomes very upset and punishes Melusine by telling her that she will become a half-fish/serpent creature every Saturday for the rest of her life.

Melusine goes on living in the forest until one day she stumbles across Raymondin,-Count of Anjou (some stories say Duke of Aquitaine), who had been very distressed due to accidentally killing his uncle during a boar hunt. He was unsure what to do, and since having come across Melusine, she promised him that she help him obtain riches, wealth and power to which he could never imagine and offered advice how to go about explaining the accidental death he caused of his uncle to his family. The new found companion he found in her, helped ease his grief. He was so pleased with Melusine's help that he asked her to be his bride. She agreed under one condition,  that he could not see her in her chambers on Saturdays, no matter what.

He agreed to the silly request and they were married at once. Melusine helped him gain power to the kingdom and build up the city of Poitou and newly built Lusignan, where Melusine became the mother of the Lusignan line. She even had the castle built in Lusignan and ruled over the land graciously and lovingly to her people.
Raymondin and Melusine

Over time the happy couple had in upwards of at least 10 children (most of which were born with a deformity of some sort). It was obvious due to the time span of so many children being born that they had been married for at least 10 years or more when Raymondin became pressured by family members about Melusine's odd Saturday activities. It became more curious when they mentioned that she didn't like to attend Mass at their Cathedral and Raymondin started wondering what she may be doing in her chambers by herself.

In a fit of jealousy (thinking she may also be cheating ) he peeked through the keyhole in the door to her chambers and sees her bathing in a tub. She appeared as beautiful as ever from the waist up, but from the waist down her fish or serpent-like body splashed around with a fierce tail.  Raymondin couldn't believe his eyes but never did he mention this to anyone until their son Geoffrey burned down the Church. He felt that Geoffrey was a bad soul and had perhaps inherited it from his wife, Melusine. He then accused her of being a "Faulse Serpente."  Melusine then is so distraught over the fact that Raymondin not only knew of her secret, thus he broke his promise, but also that he announced it to everyone of what she really was. Some books say Melusine then turned into a serpentine creature  or dragon and flew away, while I read another state she jumped out the window in her fish-like state and swam away into the river. She was said to visit her children in the night in human form but other stories claim that she was a bad omen, for if you saw her flying around crying out that meant an impending death in the land.



Jean D'Arras Book
 In French history, many royals all the way back to the days of Charlemagne have claimed to have descended from Melusine's family lineage. In fact, the Plantagenet families, Angevin lineage and the House of Anjou and Vere still claim lineage that date back to the story of Melusine. Amazingly, while researching this story I realized that I was learning about tales my own ancestors had spoken of, as my mother's family genealogy dates back to the royal families lines of Europe, including the all of the families spoken about  in many of these centuries old stories who claim ancestry to Melusine.

Author, Jean D'Arras wrote his major work Chronique de Melusine in 1393 after being commissioned to do so by the Duke of Berry. According to history the Duke of Berry was so fascinated with the story of Melusine, that his sister Marie (Duchess of Bar/Berry) told D'Arras to record all the information that he could find on Melusine to please her brother the Duke.

D'Arras spent numerous years researching and collecting information which followed William de Portenach's previous stories of Melusine. In 1478, D'Arras' last work Le Liure de Melusine en Fracoys was published posthumously.

According to the book, "The Serpent And The Swan: The Animal Bride In Folklore And Literature," the name "Melusine" was used by D'Arras and Couldrette as an abbreviation of the words 'Mere des Lusignan' or 'Mother of the Lusignans.'  Many other derivations of the name Melusine were suggested pairing the fairy story with Greco-Roman deities and even Celtic origins.

Melusine - Thüring von Ringoltingen

Another thought argued by Markale was the latinization of the greek words, "Melas-Leuke" meaning "Black and White."  So, pretty much the story of Melusine is one that defines double-nature meaning she was human and animal, good and evil, both male and female. The male and female part is weird, I know, but according to the stories the fact that she was fish-like or serpent-like gave the idea of her upper half being more feminine while her lower half was more phallus-like. 


WAS THERE A REAL MELUSINE? WAS SHE GOOD OR EVIL?


In history, there proves to be a woman by the name of Melisende (or Melesende). Upon researching my family ancestry I had discovered that Melisende's husband happened to be one of my ancestors,  Fulk V- Count of Anjou. According to legend that King Richard I (Lion Heart) had made comments of his ancestor Fulk III (Fulk's grandfather) saying "We come from the Devil, and to the Devil we shall go."- meaning that because the story of Melusine had been attached to evil, cursed or even perhaps the spawn of the devil that the family bloodlines were tainted.

It was said that the Plantegenet line, Angevin, Vere and Anjou lineage all went back to the Melusine story. Even prior to the marriage of Fulk V and Melisende there had been rumored legends of ancestry to a mythical fairy that resembled Melusine's story. The names Melisende and Melusine sure sound a lot alike. Perhaps the actual name of Melusine in the story hadn't been conjured up for a few generations and then later on through stories passed on down generations later the names of actual people mixed together with the legend to create a leviathan of a story that old folklore is made of.


THE ARMENIAN QUEEN MELISENDE- 

WHAT DOES HISTORY SAY?

According to historical evidence, Melisende was born the daughter of King Baldwin II of Jerusalem (whose ancestry came from Rethel, France) and her mother was Morphia (daughter to Prince Constantine I of Armenia). Baldwin deferred to King Louis VI of France to recommend a Frankish vassel for his daughter's hand. He then in turn recommended a rich crusader and military commander, and possible a threat to Louis VI himself, the Count of Anjou, Fulk V.

Melisende married Fulk Anjou V (Count of Anjou) and bore a son Baldwin III whom the King wanted to to make heir to the throne.  In 1131 upon the untimely death of her father, Melisende became Queen of Jerusalem and co-ruler with her husband.  Contemporaries of Melisende who did rule during the same time included Urraca of Castille, Empress Matilda (wife of Geoffrey, son of Fulk V-Count of Anjou) and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

She proved to be a mighty ruler and a very strong minded and intellectual woman. She watched over her son and helped him rule over the land, although not without complications. Her strong will and "matriarchal" tendencies truly left a legacy of her motherly care and determination to take care of her son and her people no matter what, even at the cost of upsetting her son's feelings.

Personally, I think that if there is a connection to Melusine (half human/half animal) and to half-Armenian, half-French, Queen Melisende it is one of ignorance on the part of the peoples. History shows that Melisende was a human being, not a mythological creature or fairy. She was a strong willed and independent woman who knew what she wanted and did what she needed to protect her people and her family.

I know that in today's day in age that is respected as an independent spirit, but mind you, this was the late medieval period and men didn't like women to be rulers of kingdoms, speaking their mind and calling shots. Thus, I could see how the rumors or story telling could play into the fact that a half-blood woman (mixed European with Middle-Eastern) with a strong will could be thrown into a story as a half human-half animal creature who called the shots and was "evil" or "magical" in a sense. Its a shame that women couldn't be given the credit for having a brain in their head and the guts to speak their mind at that time and era.

Quite possibly the story and fables of this water fairy, nymph, mermaid, whatever you want to call "Melusine" may have very well originated with Queen Melisende. Over the hundreds of years and all the fables, legends and lore of this mythical fairy or "Dames Blanches" that were told for so long, that the real story of Queen Melisende was forgotten and a fictional one was created.





SO WAS MELUSINE A SERPENT OR A MERMAID?


According to symboldictionary.com :

"A MELUSINE is a typical illustration of a twin-tailed siren or mermaid

This creature is associated with numerous stories and legends, and is imbued with symbolic meaning in alchemy. The most common iteration of the siren is as Melusine, a creature from medieval legend.

Melusine (sometimes, Melusina) was, according to legend, beautiful woman with a disturbing tendency to transform into a serpent from the waist down while bathing; it is the discovery of this nature that triggers calamity. 
 
Alchemal Siren (Melusine)
As the story is most often told, the cursed maiden is discovered in the forest by Raymond, the Duke of Aquitaine, who begs her to marry him. She agrees, on condition that he never disturb her on a Saturday, when she bathes. Raymond eventually grows suspicious of his young wife, and spies on her- and his shocked reaction to her true appearance reveals his betrayal to Melusine, who transforms herself into a dragon and departs in a shrieking fury. This story can be viewed as a metaphor for sexuality, and the contradictory duality of the female nature as viewed through medieval eyes.

The same dual-nature symbolism is also at work in alchemy, which employs the siren as a more benevolent emblem of enlightenment- the siren of the philosophers. Alchemically, the siren’s two tails represent unity -of earth and water, body and soul- and the vision of Universal Mercury, the all-pervading anima mundi that calls out and makes the philosopher yearn to her."



French Heraldry -Melusine
CONCLUSION


So in ending, yes, many tales tell of Melusine as a two-tailed mermaid and in others a more with a serpentine-like tail. Either way, Melusine was a water nymph or fairy and had some sort of magical powers in order to offer her love the wealth and prestige of a royal kingdom. I am sure the next time you pick up a cup of coffee, frap or even just hot cocoa at Starbucks you will never look at the fair maiden "Melusine" the same way again!

In my next article I will go deeper into the origins of Mermaids and the mythology behind it.

J'aime Rubio (2012) All Rights Reserved
Copyright-7/17/2012

Sources:
Medieval France: An Encyclopedia
by:William Kibler
Melusine of Lusignan: Founding Fiction in Late Medieval France
by: Donald Maddox
The Serpent and the Swan: The Animal in Folklore and Literature
by: Boria Sax
Melusina- by: Jean D'Arras
The Shame Of All Her Kind: A Genealogy of Female Monstrocity and Metamorphosis From The Middle Ages Through Early Modernity- by:Maria Frangos
Melusine The Serpent Goddess in A.S. Byatt's Possession and in Mythology
by:Gillian M.E. Alban
Dragon Legacy: The Ancient History of an Ancient Bloodline
by: Nicholas De Vere, Tracy R Twyman
Symbol Dictionary.com


Friday, July 6, 2012

The Bible- History or Myth?



When I first started writing my blog, I started out with researching old mysteries and stories that I felt could be re-investigated in order to search for the truth. Many of the stories I have researched and wrote about on my "Dreaming Casually" blog are cold cases or stories that many have speculated as cover-ups. I never had really considered writing about origins or biblical history before until I had a falling out with an acquaintance of mine a few months ago due to our differences in beliefs (spiritually). One thing this person told me was, "You write so many stories and dig and search for the truth about those things but why haven't you wrote about the Bible?"


You see, this person doesn't believe the Bible is real and is very adamant about this. I on the other hand, believe the Bible is true and accurate and I decided here and now to state the historical proof that the Bible is very accurate and real. I also wanted to show the differences between prophecies and predictions made in the Bible than to the predictions made in recorded mythology.


The Difference Between Myth and Legend


According to Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythology, many stories and epic tales have been carried down for thousands of years. Telling tales of legend and myths in regards to the creation of life, the earth, the universe and various teaching of gods and such. However, no records really tell specific dates, names of true historical people or even real locations in order to prove such tales actually occurred.  The Bible, on the other hand has countless stories with such vivid historical detail that has been since proven to be historically accurate even to this day.


In the epic tales of Homer's Iliad and The Odyssey, the stories are about mythology of pagan gods and their lives intertwining or co-mingling among mortals. Even the ancient Egyptians, Celtics and Norse religions believed in and told of various "legends and lore" of times passed without really giving specifics about when, and where they occurred.


 PROPHECY



In Greek mythology, the belief in ancient oracles was rampant, although only the rich and powerful were able to consult with them. They believed that the oracles had powers of prediction and prophecy. However, the stories that oracles gave were more often than not just ambiguous, vague and most often unreliable. They also could be bought by the highest bidder. Even in today's society, many people are habitual horoscope readers constantly checking to see what the future holds for their destiny, sometimes paying for a horoscope service, calling phone psychics for advice and or purchasing magazines just to read their horoscopes. Sadly, today's horoscopes and "psychic" readings are not much better than the vague stories of the ancient oracles themselves.

A good example of the enigmatic predictions of the oracles is the story of King Pyrrhus of Epirus. According to the ancient tale, the King's army was engaged in an epic battle with the Roman army. He went to to the oracle Delphi for answers. The answer he received from the oracle was spoken in two ways, and thus could be interpreted differently:

 (1) "I say that thou son of Æacus canst conquer the Romans. Thou shalt go, thou shalt return, never shalt thou perish in war."

 (2) "I say that the Romans can conquer thee, son of Æacus. Thou shalt go, thou shalt never return, thou shalt perish in war."

The King chose to go by the second definition and lost in battle. Why am I bringing this story up? Because this is a great example of the vague and uncertain predictions the oracles would provide. Often times, the oracles spoke in unintelligible sounds and used priests to be their "interpreters" in order for them to create their verses to be spoken to the one seeking answers. More often then not, the answer had a double interpretation making it impossible for someone to understand the real answer. Almost like a riddle.

A great example of an oracle giving the wrong answer was in the case of the King of Lydia, Croesus. He consulted the oracle to find out who would win the war. The oracle told him, "If Croesus crosses the Halys, he will destroy a mighty empire."  In actuality, when he crossed the river Halys to invade Cappadocia, Cyrus the Persian was waiting for him and destroyed his army. Thus, Croesus' empire was the one defeated, and the oracle's answers proved fatal to Croesus.

The Bible, on the other hand, states prophecies that have taken place down to the last detail and proven the scripture that states, "No one word out of all the good words that Jehovah your God has spoken to you has failed."- Joshua 23:14

Examples of History

2 Kings, Chapter 24 tells that the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar took a man named Jehoiachin into exile to Babylon. It goes on to say that "Evil-merodach the king of Babylon, in the year of his becoming king, raised up the head of Jehoiachin the king of Judah out of the house of detention." It also goes on to state that Jehoiachin was given an "allowance" daily for the rest of his life.


There had never been any sort of proof to back this up until Archaeologists excavating the ruins of ancient Babylon uncovered tablets that dated to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II.

Now what do you suppose they found inscribed on the tablets? None other than list rations that were given to prisoners and other dependents on the royal household. On the list was the king of the land of "Yahud" (Judah) "Yaukin" (Jehoiachin), just as the Bible had said all along.

The Uruk Kings List had only briefly mentioned of Amil-Marduk's reign of a short two years, but never before had historians even been able to prove the story of what happened to Nebuchadnezzar's successor "Evil-Merodach," and his part in the story of Jehoiachin other than what the Bible had said.  As the history proves, Amil-Marduk ended up falling victim to a court conspiracy and found himself in prison with the king of Judah, Jehoiachin. Later, after his father's death, Amil-Marduk becomes king of Babylon and uses his status to release Jehoiachin from prison.


 2 Kings 25:27-30 reads:
 "And it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Je·hoi´a·chin the king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, that E´vil-mer´o·dach the king of Babylon, in the year of his becoming king, raised up the head of Je·hoi´a·chin the king of Judah out of the house of detention; and he began to speak good things with him, and then put his throne higher than the thrones of the kings that were with him in Babylon. And he took off his prison garments; and he ate bread constantly before him all the days of his life.  As for his allowance, an allowance was constantly given him from the king, daily as due, all the days of his life."

Historians were also able to decipher that a vase found near the city of Susa read "Palace of Amil-Marduk (Evil-Merodach), King of Babylon, son of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon," proving that the Bible is historically accurate. 

As you can see in this example the Bible had stated this story for thousands of years, and yet it took until historians and archaeologists dug up corroborating evidence to agree with the Biblical tales, for many to believe the Bible is telling the truth. Such a sad thing isn't it?


Babylon-The Fall Of An Empire

Let's take the fall of Babylon as another example. In the book of Isaiah, 200 years before the event took place, Isaiah predicted the detailed account Babylon being overthrown by Medo-Persia. The account stated that the name of the conqueror would be Cyrus and even detailed the strategy of how Cyrus would defeat Babylon through means of drying up the river and infiltrating the city. All this, 200 years before it ever took place.

And what does history say about this event?

By the year 540 BC, Cyrus aka "Cyrus the Great" had captured the capital city of Susa.  Cyrus then fought the Battle of Opis near the city of Opis which lay along the Tigris river, north of Babylon.  Sippar then was seized without a battle and then again without a battle Cyrus' army siezed Babylon and Nebonidas.  Greek Scholar, Herodotus explained that the Persians used a basin that had been earlier dug by the queen Nitokris (of Babylon) in order to protect from prior attacks by the Medes. It had diverted the Euphrates into a canal severely dropping the water level to that of a man's thigh, which allowed the invasion to take place through the river in the night, just as the Bible prophesied.

After seizing  Babylon, Cyrus proclaimed himself "King of Babylon and the four corners of the world" which was inscribed on the Cyrus cylinder. Another piece of evidence that shows the Bible and History go hand in hand.


Another Example

During the sixth century B.C.E., Daniel the Bible prophet spoke of his vision that foretold the defeat of the Medo-Persian empire by Greece. It went on into detail explaining that when the king became "mighty" that his empire would then become "broken." (Daniel 8: 5-8)

“The ram that you saw possessing the two horns [stands for] the kings of Me´di·a and Persia. And the hairy he-goat [stands for] the king of Greece; and as for the great horn that was between its eyes, it [stands for] the first king. And that one having been broken, so that there were four that finally stood up instead of it, there are four kingdoms from [his] nation that will stand up, but not with his power."- Daniel 8:20-22 


The symbolism here referring the two horned ram as Medo-Persia and the single horned ram as Greece, showing that the mighty ram would defeat its counterpart. It also stated that in its highest point of reign that the empire of Greece would fall and be broken into four parts.


And what does history say about this event?

History goes on to show that Alexander the Great, ruler of Greece died suddenly at the age of 32, in the  prime of his age and at the top of game so-to-speak.  During a battle near Ipsus in Asia Minor the empire dissolved. The four victors divided the Grecian empire amongst themselves and no one out of the four were  ever able to attain the degree of power and rule that Alexander had done by himself, just as the Bible had foretold.



Conclusion

So to end this article on my blog, I have shown you how myths and history are far different from each other. I have also shown you a few examples of how history and the Bible are harmoniously joined together. You have the right to believe whatever it is you choose. However, I hope that if you were in doubt of the Bible' accuracy before reading this article, maybe the examples given here will make you search deeper for greater answers. The Bible is the most popular and most published book in the history of mankind. It has survived for thousands of years and still the accounts and advice given from the Bible can still be easy to relate to and to apply in every day life, even today.


The Bible really is a "lamp shining in a dark place," and all you need to do is pick it up and search to see that its stories and prophecies are historically accurate. 2 Peter 1:19-21




J'aime Rubio (Copyright) 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Truth About Christmas


 
How would you feel if you were to find out that some of the most important people in your life had lied to you? I am sure you would be very upset possibly even angry. You may even find that you could no longer trust them. Am I right?


The pain and disappointment are felt even worse when we learn it from our own parents or adults we have looked up to our entire lives. We as parents have a right to teach and instill in our children the basic need to search for “TRUTH” in all aspects of life.


We cannot allow ourselves nor our children, whom we are responsible for sending out into the world later, to be brain-washed or just be lazy and believe whatever is thrown our way.
Sadly the majority of the world is lazy and does not want to seek out the truth of anything, especially in regards celebrations and entertainment. Because once the truth is made known to them, they will either find that it put a ‘damper’ on the whole subject or they dismiss the truth altogether for selfish reasons.


The bottom line is that the truth is the truth and as President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated “Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.” With that being said, you can celebrate Christmas all you want, it does not make it right. You can say its for Jesus all you want, but the origins have absolutely nothing to do with Jesus. This blog is to reveal the truth about Christmas and then you can make your own educated decision based on the facts.


When many look to origins of certain words, language and even rituals or holidays they often look to the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians and even the Druids and Celts. But what strikes me as odd is that they were not the original civilizations, ancient Babylon was. They were the original world empire that actually taught the Romans, Egyptians, Sumerians, Greeks and all the other small tribes of people their culture and religion. It was ancient Mesopotamian beliefs and cultures that transformed the very civilizations we know today in Roman, Greek and Egyptian history.


Perhaps in another article I will explain further on that subject, but back to the Christmas link we find that according to Babylonian belief, December was a time of the year that the queen goddess was worshiped in honor of the birth of her son. The Romans adopted this ritual and used the name “Christ” as the son of the queen to appease the Christians to draw them into conforming to the newly established Catholic Church and it kept the pagan ritual of “Mother-son worship” in line. You see, “Mother-son worship” has been going on way before Jesus was even born, so if you think Christmas is about Jesus you are mistaken.


Gifts-

During the pagan Saturnalia and Matronalia ceremonial celebrations gifts were given to one another. Even in Egypt this was the same time that they worshiped Isis’ birth in the winter time. (Isis and Osiris also originate from Babylon and the “Mother-son worship” as Isis was known as the mother, while Osiris was her son and also her husband).


Christmas Trees- 

In Rome and Egypt, Christmas trees or celebratory trees were common. However, in Egypt the tree was a palm tree and Rome used fir trees. Palm tree worship was a ritualistic worship to the pagan Babylonian god Baal-Tamar. While the fir tree was for the pagan god Baal-Berith.


Mistletoe- 

The Druids derived their pagan superstitions from ancient Babylon as well. Mistletoe was considered the “man branch” that was considered a divine branch that grew from nothing onto a tree. We all know now that mistletoe is a form of fungus that grows on certain trees, however the Druids believed in their superstitions that it was a branch from Heaven and thus they later referred to the mistletoe to being from their messiah. 


Christmas Goose or Boar’s Head- 

In England that is a standard dish during the Christmas season, however during the time of the year the Egyptians, Romans and even the Saxons used these animals as a sacrifice to their pagan gods.


Yule Day-

In ancient Babylon the Chaldean word for “yule” means “infant” and the date of December 25th was considered “Yule Day”. The night after “Yule Day” was considered “Mother Night.” Remember, this was long before Jesus or Mary was ever born, this is not referring to Jesus in any way. 


Many other groups of peoples such as the Sabeans of Arabia and the Saxons believe December to be the “birth month” of the Sun Goddess, or “Goddess Mother” while others believe that it was the birth month of the Moon, who was considered a male. Always the male deity would be referred to as a “son” and the woman as the “mother”.


In “The Trouble With Christmas”, author Tom Flynn explains that the conclusions he reached after years spent researching Christmas was far from Christian.


"One of the great ironies of Christmas is how little of its content is truly Christian. Once we dispose of the pre-Christian elements, most of what remains is post-Christian, rather than authentically Christian, in origin."—Page 155.


The Encyclopedia Americana says: "Most of the customs now associated with Christmas were not originally Christmas customs but rather were pre-Christian and non-Christian customs taken up by the Christian church.”
Jesus, the Nativity and Mary- 


According to a Catholic Newspaper,"The real date of Jesus’ birth, from the historical viewpoint, lies concealed beneath a veil of uncertainty as regards Roman history, the imperial census of that time and research in the subsequent centuries. . . . The date of 25 December, as is well known, was chosen by the Church of Rome in the fourth century. This date in pagan Rome was dedicated to the Sun god . . . Although Christianity had already been affirmed in Rome by an Edict of Constantine, the myth of . . . the Sun god was still widespread, especially among soldiers. The above-mentioned festivities, centered on 25 December, were deeply rooted in popular tradition. This gave the Church of Rome the idea of impressing a Christian religious significance on the day by replacing the Sun god with the true Sun of Justice, Jesus Christ, choosing it as the day on which to celebrate his birth.”


Christmas or the Nativity, was not celebrated by early Christians. One encyclopedia says about this: "The celebration was not observed in the first centuries of the Christian church, since the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons rather than their birth.” 


It is a fact that Jesus could not have been born in December as the region of Bethlehem was very cold and shepherds would not be out in the fields with their flocks. As many know that the reason that Joseph and Mary came to Bethlehem was for the Census. This fact and the fact that the shepherds** were out doors with their flocks at night left even the most revered Bible Scholars to conclude that Jesus could not have been born in December. Even Caesar himself would not have forced the Jews to trek to their home cities during cold and rainy seasons which would have resulted in further enraging this group of people.


So in my conclusion, I believe I have outlined many of the pagan origins of what many believe to be a Christian holiday. You may choose to ignore what I have placed before your eyes, and you may actually listen to what I have to say. The best part of being a human being is that you may believe what you wish. After all, we do have free will. The truth isn’t always easy to swallow, but it is there and most of the time its hidden in plain sight. You just have to be willing and open minded enough to see it.-


(footnote: **Luke 2:8 “There were also in that same country shepherds living out of doors and keeping watches in the night over their flocks.”)



J'aime Rubio (2011 Copyright)
Sources:
Encyclopedia Americana
Catholic Newspaper
Two Babylons- Alexander Hislop
Christmas Customs- Are they Christian?- Magazine Article
The Trouble With Christmas- Tom Flynn
Wikipedia

EASTER- Do You Really Know The Truth About It?



If you were to dive into the backgrounds of many holidays, you would see that most have pagan origins. The holiday known as Easter would not be an exception. When you think of Easter you probably think of bunny rabbits, baskets filled with goodies, chocolate, painted eggs and pastel colors. Many think Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let me inform, this is not. Easter has absolutely NOTHING to do with Jesus or any other true Christian customs.


To start out, true Christians know that Jesus wanted us to remember him, not by his birthday and not by the day he was resurrected. He wanted us to remember him and honor him on the day he died. NISAN 14 is the day that Jesus celebrated with his Apostles the ‘Lord’s Evening Meal’ in order to celebrate the Passover. The origin of the Passover Feast was derived from the night that God's angel swept over Egypt and killed the first born of anyone who did not have the blood of the lamb over their doorposts. This was the last of the 10 plagues of Egypt.


Jesus celebrated that 'Passover' with his Apostles but he gave a new commandment to celebrate this night in remembrance of him. Because days started at sundown to sundown that night of NISAN 14 still continued to the next day at sundown, the day Jesus died. That is why true Christians celebrate NISAN 14, not Easter. Easter is an entirely different subject and is days after NISAN 14.


Even the ancient ecclesiastical historian Socrates stated this, “Thus much already laid down may seem a sufficient treatise to prove that the celebration of the feast of Easter began everywhere more of custom than by any commandment either of Christ or any Apostle." It was obvious from times passed that the Christian Religion and that of many pagan customs would become so intertwined with one another that it would be almost impossible to pull apart and dissect the truth out of them.


First and foremost, the tradition of Easter goes back thousands of years all the way back to Babylonian customs and mythology. Although many believe that Easter is a Christian holiday or even some sort of hybrid between Christian and Germanic Religious beliefs, I can assure you that it goes much further. According to the book, “Two Babylons,” author Alexander Hislop states that the term Easter comes from Chaldean origin, for the name Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the Queen of Heaven. It goes even further back to the goddess Ishtar as you will read later on.


According to historians from the early 19th century, Easter originated with Ostara (or Ēostre) , the Pagan (Saxon) Germanic Goddess of Spring. It was Northern European culture that introduced the hare or rabbit into the whole idea of Easter. Ostara was the Goddess of Fertility, bringing an end to the Winter season and a new rebirth of life in Spring. 


EASTER BUNNY-

The hare or rabbit, which was well known for its propensity for rapid reproduction, was Ostara’s sacred animal. What many are not aware of is the fact that the Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny were also older in origin than one would think. They were actually celebrated in festivals all the way back in Mesopotamia at the Feast of Ishtar. The rabbit symbolized fertility, given the fact that rabbits have been known to become impregnated with a second litter while pregnant with the first litter. Also, in the Epic of Gilgamesh an “intersexual” being comes to rescue Ishtar from the Underworld while ancient customs in various mythology spoke of rabbits that were symbolized as being “hermaphrodite,” having both male and female parts just as the intersexual creature in the Epic of Gilgamesh.


According to belief, The god Papsukal reports the entire situation to Ea (the king of gods) that Ereshkigal is holding Ishtar against her will in the Underworld. Ea manifests an intersex being called Asu-shu-namir and sends it to Ereshkigal, commanding it to invoke "the name of the great gods" against Erishkigal and to ask for the sacred bag containing the waters of life. Ereshkigal is enfuriated when she finds out Asu-shu-namir's demand, but she has to give it the water of life. So Asu-shu-namir drops water from the bag onto Ishtar and revives her. Then Ishtar passes back through the seven gates into the realm of the living.


EASTER EGGS-

In history the Easter eggs symbolized rebirth or new life. Many believe that it related to the resurrection of Jesus Christ but it does not. Long before Christ walked the earth, this custom was already taking place in the cradle of civilization, Assyria and Babylon. Eggs have always been regarded as a symbol of new life. To this day many superstitious people still use eggs to predict the sex in an unborn baby, by watching the rotation of an egg suspended by a string over the stomach of a pregnant woman.


Going even further back you will find in the story of Ishtar, the Babylonian “mother of the gods” whose very existence was said to have come from an egg. According to ancient Babylonian mythology, Ishtar came from a golden egg that descended from heaven. It survived the deluge (the flood of Noah’s day) and the fish pushed it onto the land. Then the birds sat upon it until it hatched, giving life to the deity Ishtar. 


The more you look into the story of Ishtar (especially in the Epic of Gilgamesh) the more you will find striking resemblance to other stories in mythology from Roman, to Greek, to Egyptian. Why do you think that is? That is because all mythology started from Babylon and evolved within each different civilization, making slight changes but not enough to detract from the ancient origins.


You see, Ishtar is none other than the Germanic Goddess Ostara, the Sumerian Goddess Inanna, the Greek Goddess Persephone or the Roman Goddess Proserpina (not to mention even more). Look the stories up, they are all similar. Easter is also a time in ancient mythology where the resurrection of the god Tammuz was celebrated, the lover of Ishtar.


The facts stand to point to the Goddesses of Rome, Greece, Sumer and Egypt having all come from one source, Babylon. All Easter origins come from here. You can agree with me or disagree, the history doesn’t lie. And if you search hard enough you will find that many gods or goddesses all derive from the very beginning of false gods, Tammuz and Ishtar.


If you read the Epic of Gilgamesh you will see the similarities to the stories of Persephone, Proserpina, Adonis and even some Egyptian mythology such as Isis and Osiris. Although, some characters change in some stories, the outline remains the same. 


PROSERPINA-

In Roman mythology, Venus sends her son Cupid to shoot his arrow at Pluto in order for him to find love. He comes out of the volcano Etna with four black horses named Orphnaeus, Aethon, Nycteus and Alastor. He then kidnaps Proserpina to the Underworld where he is ruler. Her mother, Demeter (or Ceres) goes searching the entire earth for her. Pluto tricks Proserpina to eat three seeds from a Pomagranate in order to entrap her in the Underworld.


She is now forced to spend three months out of the year with Pluto in the Underworld each year. According to Roman customs and beliefs, that is why the seasons change. During winter is when Proserpina goes to the Underworld and that is why her mother Demeter allows the earth to become barren, because she misses her. However, when Spring arrives all the blossom’s bloom and vegetation is abundant because Demeter’s daughter returns to her.


So in conclusion, this article is not to rain on your proverbial parade about your beliefs in Easter, but to be a wake up call. Just because you want something to be about Jesus doesn’t mean it is. Just because you want it to be about roses and flowers, fluffy bunnies and carefully decorated eggs doesn’t mean it is. Most everything that is known as a holiday comes from pagan origin, even if you wish to believe it is somehow Christian.


J'aime Rubio (copyright) 2012

Thank you Jes Alexander for allowing me to use your photo of Ishtar(Astarte).

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Dark History Behind The Nursery Rhyme- "Mary, Mary"




One of my all time favorite Mother Goose Rhymes, "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary" actually isn't such a lovely story if you dive into the dark history behind the rhyme. You see, as a child your mother may have read that poem to you lots of times and you may have envisioned a beautiful lady walking around her garden with pride. Showing off her beautiful spring blooming flowers for all to see, with her "silver bells" and "cockle shells" and "pretty maids" as flowers with women's faces on them. But in actuality this poem, like many Mother Goose Rhymes has a dark and sinister meaning.

"Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells,

And cockle shells,

And pretty maids all in a row"- Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme



The Mary that is portrayed in this nursery rhyme is none other than Mary Tudor, also known in historical infamy as "Bloody Mary". Mary was the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon (the first wife of Henry VIII). It seems that in an attempt to break away from the Church of England, she tried to revert back to the Catholic Church as soon as she became Queen. It was said that she persecuted and murdered many Protestants. Her reign of terror became widely known over the course of history, thus giving her that well deserved title of "Bloody Mary".

There are several interpretations of what people think the meaning of the poem was. Some say that the silver bells stood for Catholic Cathedral bells, the cockle shells stood for the pilgrimage to Spain and the pretty maids in a row stood for a row of nuns.

Others claim the meaning was about torturing her victims. Silver bells stood for thumb screws that were torture devices, cockle shells that was a genital torture device and the pretty maids in a row stood for the people lining up to be executed by the Halifax Gibbet, which is the same as the guillotine. This interpretation I believe to be the real one, as the meaning of "How does your garden grow?" is said to refer to the cemetery, being that the more deaths, the more the cemetery "garden" would grow.

As with all the interpretations,  the mystery behind which one is the true origin still remains. 

It is very interesting to think that in that time period that people had to preserve history any way they could. If it meant they had to write a song or poems in order to pass down the truth that perhaps the leaders of the Country tried to cover over then that's what people had to do. I find it rather clever that many of the Mother Goose nursery rhymes have so many double meanings and all it takes is a little research to uncover the truth behind these bed time tales!

J'aime Rubio c/o Dreaming Casually - (Copyright) Originally Published 2011

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