Tuesday, November 24, 2015


"There is but one god and goddess, but many are their powers and names: Jupiter, Sol, Apollo, Moses, Christ, Luna, Ceres, Proserpinfa, Tellus, Mary. But have a care in speaking these things. They should be hidden in silence as are the Eleusinian mysteries; sacred things must needs be wrapped in fable and enigma."
Konrad Muth (1471-1526)

Professor Daniel Wojcik: Spirits, Apparitions, and Traditions of Supernatural Photography

This article was published online in September 2010. Written by Daniel Wojcik, folklore professor at the University of Oregon. Wojcik was one of my favorite professors at the U of O when I was studying folklore. In this article, he looks at the history of spirit photography, including the Bayside apparitions caught on camera. Link to pdf: Spirits, Apparitions, and Traditions of Supernatural Photography.

Greg Taylor: The Cult of Mary: How Supernatural Apparitions and Miracle Healings Led to Veneration of the Mother of Jesus | The Daily Grail

Nice review by Daily Grail's Greg Taylor on National Geographic's current piece on Marian apparitions. I haven't read the item yet, but looking forward to doing so. Naturally, I was curious if the article would address the Fortean aspect; Taylor says this about that:

The Cult of Mary: How Supernatural Apparitions and Miracle Healings Led to Veneration of the Mother of Jesus | The Daily Grail: One aspect unfortunately not covered in the story is the Fortean interpretation - are these apparitions actually Christian/Islamic, or are they something else, simply being interpreted through that lens? Jacques Vallee covered some of these thoughts in his book Passport to Magonia, in which he discusses VM apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, and another at Knock in Ireland, and how some elements also match those found in sightings of other strange phenomena, such as UFOs and 'fairy folk', throughout history. (I also specifically covered the similarity in 'sounds' heard during these sightings in my article "Her Sweet Murmur: Exploring the aural phenomenology of border experiences".) From spinning disks to falls of 'angel hair', there are some distinctly strange aspects to a number of 'Virgin Mary' apparitions. (Greg Taylor, The Daily Grail)

Speaking of Taylor, if you haven't read his "Her Sweet Murmur: Exploring the aural phenomenology of border experiences"  you can find it here.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Daily Beast: "Inside Virginia’s Creepy White-Power Wolf Cult"

Don't know anything about this group, other than what I've read in the article linked below. One thing is very clear, this is a group that gives neo-pagans a bad name. And wolves.

Inside Virginia’s Creepy White-Power Wolf Cult - The Daily Beast: Wolves of Vinland is a small but increasingly well-connected group based outside Lynchburg, Virginia. Members of the group—as well as their admirers in the white supremacist Internet-sphere—are surprisingly candid about their practices, beliefs, and goals. Some of the group’s activities are par for the course, at least as far as neo-pagans are concerned. But other elements of their community are deeply disturbing, especially in light of the recent arrests of two neo-pagan white supremacists who lived just two hours north of them and allegedly conspired to bomb black churches. (Betsy Woodruff,Daily Beast)

Chicago Tribune Report: "Nordstrom pulls controversial Hanukkah sweater"

From the "What were they thinking?!" department, this faux pas from Nordstrom's:

Nordstrom pulls controversial Hanukkah sweater after Facebook firestorm - Chicago Tribune: The festive blue women's sweater by Faux Real features a large menorah and the words "Chai Maintenance" across the chest. The Hebrew word for life, chai is pronounced "high." The characterization unleashed a flood of negative comments on Nordstrom's Facebook page.

"I'm very disturbed by this sweater and the negative stereotype of Jewish women," said one poster, calling it anti-Semitic.

National Geographic: 500 Years of Virgin Mary Sightings in One Map

Thanks to The Daily Grail for the link -- National Geographic's map of BVM sightings, and mention of MiracleHunter, which I posted about yesterday:
500 Years of Virgin Mary Sightings in One Map: MiracleHunter.com keeps a catalog of sightings. The map below shows where the sightings have been reported, and how they've been classified by the church. You can read about how the Virgin Mary has become the world's most powerful woman in our latest magazine cover story,and see how obsession with Mary can be taken to extremes on Explorer: The Cult of Mary,which premieres Sunday, December 13, at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on the National Geographic Channel.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Blog Find: The Jinn

Found this site while surfing UFO Mary type items:

Jinn/ djinn/ jinns - UFO, alien, spirit, demon, ghost, Grey, poltergeist, Ascended Master, Fairy, incubi, Men in Black, reptilian, nephilim, doppelganger, space brother, monster: The JINN are beings with free will, living on Earth in a world parallel to mankind. The Arabic word means to conceal. They appear to include juvenile pranksters as well as powerful superior beings with an agenda we don't understand.  They have influenced mankind's religious and cultural beliefs from antiquity to the present. Jinn can create UFOs, hallucinations, psychokinetic effects, cattle mutilations, crop circles, apparitions and other paranormal phenomena. (The Jinn.net)

 "The Fisherman and the Genie," by Dulac, 1907

There is a lot there! Much to explore. I'm not sure where the person is coming from --which perspective he or she has, or what religious, if any, beliefs they have -- but it's an interesting collection of articles and links referencing Vallee, Keel, Crowley, Parsons, and many others.

In the post below where I linked to the article on the use of 1900's military technology to manipulate religious beliefs and political agendas, I commented that this human interference in affairs, under the guise of the supernatural, seems to be a reality. That doesn't mean that the supernatural doesn't exist however. Both exist, and both interact. Who manipulates whom? The answer seems obvious...

"Our Lady of the Stereopticon"

From Haunted Ohio Books, very interesting piece on early 1900s visions of holy figures and other apparitions in the skies above war torn lands. Were these truly supernatural events, or projections created with military technology? From the article:

Our Lady of the Stereopticon - Haunted Ohio Books: In Przemysl and the surrounding country there are thousands of persons, many of them claiming to be eye-witnesses, who are positive that visions of the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child repeatedly appeared in the sky above the beleaguered city, and who are convinced that these visions were of supernatural origin. It is believed, however, that the officers in charge of the defenses simply took advantage of the latest developments in flying craft and projection apparatus to spread the conviction through the ranks of both armies that the city was under divine protection. (Chris Woodyard)
While this is probable and in fact, no doubt true in some cases (it's my opinion that the military-industrial complex has long been aware of, not only the "superstitions" of the masses, but the presence of supernatural elements, including entities, and manipulates both for their own purposes) but sightings like these go back centuries. Well, the Trickster, Cosmic Joker, "super spectrum" as John Keel called it, knows how to mix things up and present us with muddled, multiple choices.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Zombie Nativity Offends, City Threatens Legal Action.

Ohio town threatens legal action against ‘zombie’ baby Jesus Nativity scene on man’s lawn: man in Ohio is facing legal action if he does not take down his Nativity scene that features zombies instead of traditional biblical characters.

Jasen Dixon told WXIX that he manages 13 Rooms of Doom haunted house, so he already had the zombies, including one resembling the baby Jesus. (raw story.com)

Zombie Nativity; Image Source: Review Journal

Ohio is highly offended by the zombie nativity scene on Dixon's lawn. The Sycamore Township in Ohio is citing a city code concerning size of structures on private property. No doubt that is an excuse. Personally, I don't dig the zombie thing -- vampires are more my taste. And there is something to be said about stirring up spirits with exploitive and gratuitous shenanigans. Beside the point however.

Seems like the good Christian citizens of Sycamore Township should relax with a comforting and warm cup of java in a cozy red cup at the local Starbuck's.

The Red Cup, proving that Starbucks is out to destroy Xmas

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds | World news | The Guardian

Not surprising. I find it amusing that the researchers presumed most of us assume religious kids are naturally empathetic as a "common sense"perspective:

Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds | World news | The Guardian: Harriet Sherwood 

Children from religious families are less kind and more punitive than those from non-religious households, according to a new study.

Academics from seven universities across the world studied Christian, Muslim and non-religious children to test the relationship between religion and morality.

They found that religious belief is a negative influence on children’s altruism.

“Overall, our findings ... contradict the commonsense and popular assumption that children from religious households are more altruistic and kind towards others,” said the authors of The Negative Association Between Religiousness and Children’s Altruism Across the World, published this week in Current Biology.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Maritan Folk Art

I just love this . . . thanks to Lesley Gunter, who posted this on her FB page. 

"One night I camped in the mountains, and some extraterrestrials appeared to me. First I got scared but then, while the martians were looking for plants in the forest, I felt very peacefully. But when they flew away, the fear came back. I rushed to the tavern in the nearest village. I thank the Blessed Sacrament for the martians didn’t take me with them."

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Friday, June 12, 2015

Why The 'Apparitions' Of The Virgin Mary In This Small Bosnian Town Are So Controversial

While we await the Pope's verdict on the Vatican's stamp of approval concerning the legitimacy of the BVM at Medjugorje, there's this short think-and-do type of article on the who, what, why from the Huffington Post:

Why The 'Apparitions' Of The Virgin Mary In This Small Bosnian Town Are So Controversial: Why are they controversial?

Although the church has approved other Marian apparitions in the past, the ones at Medjugorje are widely contested. The local bishop has stated that he does not believe the visions to be authentic, descrying the "lies that are at times put into the mouth of the 'Madonna.'"

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A new expose of Mother Teresa shows that she—and the Vatican—were even worse than we thought � Why Evolution Is True

New study reveals what many, though not enough, have known about Mother Teresa. Not the saintly being so many bought into:

A new expos of Mother Teresa shows that she—and the Vatican—were even worse than we thought   Why Evolution Is True: Two-thirds of the people coming to these missions hoped to a find a doctor to treat them, while the other third lay dying without receiving appropriate care. The doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions, as well as a shortage of actual care, inadequate food, and no painkillers. The problem is not a lack of money—the Foundation created by Mother Teresa has raised hundreds of millions of dollars—but rather a particular conception of suffering and death: “There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s Passion. The world gains much from their suffering,” was her reply to criticism, cites the journalist Christopher Hitchens. Nevertheless, when Mother Teresa required palliative care, she received it in a modern American hospital.”

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Wiccan High Priestess Delivers Invocation At Iowa House of Representatives - Now The End Begins : Now The End Begins

Good news, one for our side. But I can't help also feeling frustrated and rattled by the outrageous ignorance and hypocrisy of many Christians who insist on maintaining their woefully stupid understanding (or lack of) pagan-wiccan traditions:

Wiccan High Priestess Delivers Invocation At Iowa House of Representatives - Now The End Begins : Now The End Begins: EDITOR’S NOTE: The first time this happened in American government, almost two years ago, it made all the headlines for days on end. But not anymore. In an amazingly short time, we have gotten used to having occult, pagan prayers being offered up to Satan at the highest levels of local, state and federal government. America is collapsing while we watch. America is being inundated with demonic spirits, and is doing very little to counteract the attack. What America needs is some old-fashioned street preachers with a King James Bible and some gospel tracts. Get back in the game, Christian…to the FIGHT!

Many citizens stood outside and prayed while the invocation was presented, and others inside turned their backs in protest. Still, it's a start.