Friday, December 14, 2018

Ghost of Christmas Past

In 1843, English author and social critic Charles John Huffam Dickens, AKA: Charles Dickens… first published the novella: A Christmas Carol - Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. The now-famous tale recounts the trials and tribulations of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. 

During his life, Dickens campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education, and other social reforms, and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. With A Christmas Carol, Dickens explored and re-evaluated past Christmas traditions, and captured the zeitgeist of the mid-Victorian revival of the Christmas holiday, including family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games and a festive generosity of spirit.

However, Christmas has not always enjoyed such a reputable status. In fact, Christmas past was marked with considerable paganism and debauchery. Ancient traditions included the observance of the winter solstice when the worst of the winter was behind the ancients and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight.

In Scandinavia, the Norsemen celebrated Yule from December 21, the winter solstice, through January. In recognition of the return of the sun and rebirth of the sun goddess, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which they would set on fire. The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year.

Germanic peoples honored the pagan god Woden (Oden) during the mid-winter holiday. Scholars have connected the yuletide celebration to the Woden and the Wild Hunt. The Wild Hunt is a folklore motif that historically occurred across Europe. Wild Hunts typically involve a ghostly or supernatural group of hunters passing in wild pursuit. The hunters may be either elves or fairies or the dead, and the leader of the hunt is often a named figure associated with Woden.

Germans were terrified of Woden, as they believed he made nocturnal flights through the sky to observe his people, and then decide who would prosper or perish. Because of his presence, many people chose to stay inside.

The end of December was a perfect time for celebration in most areas of Europe. At that time of year, most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter. For many, it was the only time of year when they had a supply of fresh meat. In addition, most wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking… a keen necessity in Christmas celebrations, both ancient and modern.

In pre-Biblical era Rome, Saturnalia… a holiday in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture… was celebrated. Beginning in the week leading up to the winter solstice and continuing for a full month, Saturnalia was a hedonistic time, when food and drink were plentiful and the normal Roman social order was turned upside down. For a month, slaves would become masters. Peasants were in command of the city. Business and schools were closed so that everyone could join in the revelry.

Also around the time of the winter solstice, Romans observed Juvenalia, a feast honoring the children of Rome. In addition, members of the upper classes often celebrated the birthday of Mithra, the god of the unconquerable sun, on December 25. It was believed that Mithra, an infant god, was born of a rock. For some Romans, Mithra’s birthday was the most sacred day of the year.

In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. However, in the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Tellingly, the Bible does not mention date for his birth. Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring (why would shepherds be herding in the middle of winter?), Pope Julius I chose December 25. 

It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated. By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion.

 First called the Feast of the Nativity… Christmas spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the celebration of Christmas had spread all the way to Scandinavia. Today, in the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.

In the days of the early church, believers attended mass, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today’s Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the “lord of misrule” and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorize them with mischief. Christmas became the time of year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined “debt” to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens.

And then, of course, there’s Krampus. We touched upon Krampus… or Black Peter as he is also known, many Christmases ago. In Central European folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure described as "half-goat, half-demon", who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved with gifts. The origin of the figure is unclear; some folklorists and anthropologists have postulated it as having pre-Christian origins.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas. Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. But what about the 1800s peaked American interest in the holiday?

The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city’s first police force in response to a Christmas riot. This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America.

Also around this time, English author Charles Dickens created the classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol. The story’s message-the importance of charity and good will towards all humankind-struck a powerful chord in the United States and England and showed members of Victorian society the benefits of celebrating the holiday. The family was also becoming less disciplined and more sensitive to the emotional needs of children during the early 1800s. Christmas provided families with a day when they could lavish attention-and gifts-on their children without appearing to “spoil” them.

As Americans began to embrace Christmas as a perfect family holiday, old customs were unearthed. People looked toward recent immigrants and Catholic and Episcopalian churches to see how the day should be celebrated. In the next 100 years, Americans built a Christmas tradition all their own that included pieces of many other customs, including decorating trees, sending holiday cards and gift-giving.

Although most families quickly bought into the idea that they were celebrating Christmas how it had been done for centuries, Americans had really re-invented a holiday to fill the cultural needs of a growing nation.

- source: Wikipedia & History network

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Tek-Gnostics' Top 10 Conspiracy Theories… or are they?

1) - Illuminati
The granddaddy of all conspiracy theories, this rascally secret society has been controlling world affairs for decades, if not centuries. Grand puppet masters, they pull the political strings behind the scenes, while their end-goal is to create a New World Order, which will dissolve national boundaries and individual sovereignty. 

2) - JFK Assassination
This is one of the most traumatizing events in modern history to have played out in the public arena. Over half of Americans surveyed, believe that there was a conspiracy behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. This theory obviously stems from the horrific murder in 1963 of President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. Was the assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, the KGB, the mob… or was it the CIA?  Was there just one “lone gunman” or were there shots fired from the grassy knoll?

3) - Roswell/Area 51/Aliens
This includes a broad category of belief in alien contact and its cover-up. Central to this theory is the alleged 1947 crash of a flying saucer in Roswell, New Mexico. The ensuing government cover-up of that incident supposedly links to Area 51, a top-secret military base where experimental research is carried out, giving rise to rumors that the studies are actually on aliens and the reverse engineering of their technology. 

4) - 9/11 was an inside job
The “Truth Movement” claims that the terrorist attacks on 9/11 were actually orchestrated by the U.S. government, stemming from the White House itself. Truthers believe the Bush administration had advanced knowledge of the attacks and allowed them to happen so they could invade Iraq and advance their (Globalist?) agenda. The World Trade Center towers were actually brought down by a controlled demolition.

5) - Reptilian Overlords
An extra-terrestrial race of Lizard People, aka “Reptilians” are running the World. This one is famously championed by David Icke, a professional conspiracy theorist from the UK. Accordingly, the top echelon of world governments have been infiltrated by the shape-shifting reptilians, who now rule over humanity, furthering their own reptilian agenda.

6) - Chemtrails
A conspiracy theory mainstay, this idea suggests that the innocent looking trails you can spot in the sky behind commercial jet planes are actually “chemtrails” …which are composed of chemical compounds sprayed by our government, that are either seeding (read: terra-forming) our atmosphere, or are otherwise poisoning/controlling the population.

7) - Fake Moon Landing
Many people believe that the moon landings did not happen and their widespread reporting was orchestrated by NASA/American government as Cold War propaganda. The intent was to raise national pride and to “one up” our archrival, the USSR. Reportedly, the famous film director Stanley Kubrick was the creative mastermind of the fake footage and he left subsequent clues in later films, such as: 2001, a space odyssey.

8) - Holocaust Hoax/ Hitler didn’t die
Some people believe the Holocaust did not happen, despite thousands of photos, films and first-hand accounts… let alone the well-documented history of 6 million Jews being exterminated in Nazi concentration camps. Additionally, according to some, Hitler survived World War II, and made it to Brazil (or perhaps Antarctica?), via Nazi “Ratlines” supported by factions within Allied Command.

9) - Water Fluoridation
Fluoridation was introduced to municipal water supplies in the 1950’s to protect against dental cavities. However, the reported real purpose behind water fluoridation is to reduce the resistance of the masses to domination and control and loss of liberty. Once again, director Stanley Kubrick is implicated, via his character from Doctor Strangelove: General Jack Ripper: "We must safeguard our precious bodily fluids!"

10) - Paul is Dead
An enduring conspiracy theory from the late 1960s (and personal favorite)... Beatles guitarist Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966. The remaining 3 Beatles wanted fans to know about it, and placed clever clues in album covers and music giving details about McCartney's death... ie: Playing the song Revolution #9 backwards, reveals the message: Turn me on, dead man. 

And here’s another clue for you all… the Walrus was Paul!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Apocalypse Now – Paradise Lost

On October 21st, I posted what may sadly become a series of posts. “Apocalypse Now – Fire and Water” speculated upon the dynamic nature of our rapidly changing climate, which describes the characteristics of weather over long periods of time. The post examined climate change, the earlier, newage version: “Earth Changes” and the result of climate change, as evidenced by West Coast forest fires and East Coast hurricanes… Fire and Water. 

“Fire and Water” also covered the related environmental “Trial of the Century.” Juliana v. United States is a lawsuit that is being brought by 21 young plaintiffs, accusing the federal government of causing them harm by failing to protect them from the effects of global warming. This week, a Federal judge overseeing the kids' climate change case has bowed to the strong signals from SCOTUS and even the supposed liberal 9th Circuit… granting interlocutory appeal, which means the 3-year-old case will not be going to trial for the indefinite future.

17 days after that original post, the so-called “Camp Fire” erupted in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California. The wildfire grew rapidly near midday Nov. 8, consuming 10,000 acres (15.5 square miles) in about 90 minutes… charing more than 70,000 acres in a day's time. In just two weeks, the Camp Fire destroyed more structures than the state's other seven worst wildfires combined.

What was horrifically stunning was the fire's ferocious pace. It literally consumed the town of Paradise, California (pop. 27,000) in those first 14 hours. The fire has also killed nearly three times as many people as California’s historic wildfire death toll count… a record that stood for 85 years. With 850 residents of Paradise and the surrounding area still missing, the death toll will likely rise. 

Shortly after the Camp Fire broke out, the Hill Fire erupted in Southern California near Thousand Oaks. And yet another, the Woolsey Fire, has burned 100,000 acres and destroyed at least 1,500 structures. 

“We're seeing urban conflagrations, and that's the real phase change in recent years,” says Stephen Pyne, a wildfire expert at Arizona State University. It used to be that fires destroyed exurbs or scattered enclaves. But what's remarkable is the way they're plowing over cities, which we thought was something that had been banished a century ago.”

The consequence is fires of unprecedented, almost unimaginable scale. California cities are no longer safe from fire, and with climate change, things are only bound to get worse from here. Consider that seven of the 20 most destructive fires in state history have burned just in the last year.

“Mass shootings and mass burnings,” Pyne says... “Welcome to the new America.”

On a personal note, I have traversed the country where Paradise was once located, many times. The country between Chico, CA and Lake Tahoe is beautiful, indeed. In the autumn, easterly downdraft winds rapidly dry out vegetation, just as the famous Santa Ana winds do. The combination of strong winds and tinder-dry conditions are a recipe for disaster. As our climate dries, these conditions will only worsen. 

One outcome is painfully apparent after the devastation in Paradise and Malibu… raging wildfires, demon-like in their ferocity, indiscriminately consume Working Class homes in Northern California, as well as the affluent mansions of Southern California. Like the hurricanes of the East Coast, western wildfires are climate change induced, equal-opportunity disasters.

Fire and Water in Southern California, 2018

Nov. 23rd Update: The Federal Government just released an enlightening new report on climate change and mankind’s impact on the environment. The 1,600-page document paints a bleak overview of the threat global warming poses in the United States, both climatically and economically.

“Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities,” National Climate Assessment researchers wrote in Volume II in their report on climate change.


Friday, November 16, 2018

Enemy of the People vs Pop News

Since his election in 2016, our current president (often referred to as: The Orange One by those who know him best) has repeatedly used the phrase “Enemy of the People” in reference to the American Press. His use of the term is very fascinating and revealing. Prior to the Orange One’s adoption, the term has had a long and sorted history of usage.

The phrase dates back, at least to Roman times and the reign of Emperor Nero. The fiddle-playing Nero was declared "an enemy of the people" by the Roman Senate. Alas that the current American Senate could muster any such resolve.

It famously came into use in the modern era during the French Revolution. “Ennemi du people” was used to refer to those who disagreed with the new French government during the "Reign of Terror" …a period during which thousands of revolutionaries were executed by that most-efficient instrument of death, the guillotine.

The term was used prominently in the 1930’s and 40’s by the Nazis. During the Third Reich's rule in Germany, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels referred to the Jewish population living in Germany as "a sworn enemy of the German people." 

Another infamous figure from the 20th century to use this phrase was Joseph Stalin. During the early years of the Bolshevik revolution, first Vladimir Lenin and later Joseph Stalin used the term “vrag naroda” (enemy of the nation/people) to refer to those dissenters who questioned the ideologies of the Soviet Union. This would include anyone from the clergy who did not want to adopt state-enforced atheism… to writers… to political opponents who questioned the actions taken by the Bolshevik government. In those times, such a designation would earn you a one-way ticket to a “gulag” or forced-labor camp.

"All leaders of the Constitutional Democratic Party, a party filled with enemies of the people, are hereby to be considered outlaws, and are to be arrested immediately and brought before the revolutionary court" 

- Vladimir Lenin, 1917

So it is very revealing that the Orange One uses this notorious phrase. He uses the term in a very strategic, calculated way… as an instrument in the waging of the Culture Wars that ravage the good ole’ US of A.  Make no mistake… the Orange One knows exactly what he is doing with his use of “Enemy of the People.”

Although to level this accusation at the press is completely inappropriate… the president himself being more of a threat to the people… there are fair criticisms that can be brought against modern media journalism. The Orange One and others are joyous in their labeling the press as “Fake News.” Even though one could argue that this accusation has not been evenly applied across all news networks, there are more accurate critiques that can and should be considered.

The tabloid press, the paparazzi, and sensational, yellow journalism, have combined over the years to erode journalistic ethics and standards. Driven by the George W era monopoly of news organizations, the relentless pursuit of profit, and the rise of social media as a news source… little wonder the press’s reputation has been in decline. With that said, there is still good journalism being produced, and the Fourth Estate is still a critical guardian and protector of liberty, acting as a counter-balance to an over-ambitious political rabble.    

Still, much of modern media’s news organizations are hell-bent to deliver catchy headlines in our increasingly negative, 24/7 news cycle. This quest for market share has been the driver of the press's decline in believability. In this day and age… we are not dealing with Fake News… we are constantly being bombarded with… Pop News. News meant to be tantalizing and sexy… something that can compete with the Kardashian sisters.

So... dear discerning reader, as you go about your day… maybe surfing the channels for an update on the latest, up-to-the-minute “desperate as usual” political scandal… remember…

It’s Not Fake News… It’s Pop News.

Goodnight ladies and gentlemen, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Cult of Personality - Pt 3

Dog Whistle – noun
1) A high-pitched whistle used to train dogs, typically having a sound inaudible to humans.
2) A subtly aimed, strategic cultural/political message wherein the general population will interpret its common meaning… but a certain target group that is “in the know” will take away the secret, intended message.

In the autumn of 2015, well before the 2016 Presidential election, I began looking into the “Cult of Personality” phenomena, as it pertained to Donald Trump. At that time, Trump was the rising star of the Republican presidential primaries and caucuses. In the first installment, I delved into Trump’s reality TV popularity, his pop-media public persona, and how it was transforming into what sociologists call a Cult of Personality. Here is a quick refresher: 

A cult of personality arises when a country's regime (or, more rarely, an individual) uses the techniques of mass media, propaganda, the big lie, spectacle, the arts, patriotism, and government-organized demonstrations and rallies to create an idealized, heroic, and worshipful image of a leader, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. A cult of personality is established by modern social engineering techniques… usually by the state or the party in one-party states. It is often seen in totalitarian or authoritarian countries.

There are various views about what constitutes a cult of personality in a leader. Modern-day, media-savvy personality cults display five characteristics that set them apart from their predecessors…

1) The cults are secular and anchored in popular sovereignty.
2) Their objects are all males. 
3) They target the entire population, not only the well-to-do or just the ruling class. 
4) They use mass media. 
5) They exist where the mass media can be controlled enough to inhibit the introduction of “rival cults.”

Often, a single leader becomes associated with this socio-political transformation and comes to be treated as a benevolent “guide” for the nation, without whom, the transformation to a better future cannot occur. This has been generally the justification for personality cults that arose in totalitarian societies, such as those of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Chairman Mao.

Given all that has transpired in the last three years, the above (from Wikipedia) sounds hauntingly familiar. 4 out of the 5 of the above-numbered items accurately describe contemporary American politics, while #5 on the list, is all but complete.

In the second installment, I began to explore the phenomena through a synchronistic lens… looking for a deeper, symbolic relevance to Trump’s rise. Not satisfied with overt, political ramifications… part two examined covert, occult connotations, as revealed in the etymology of the word Trump… and the arcane use of the “trump card” in games of chance and especially the divinatory Tarot.

In part two, I explored the question: Why Trump? Why now? The symbolic, archetypical underpinnings of the word Trump, being the surname of the Donald… adds an enigmatic, troubling depth to Trump’s overt rise as the figurehead of the Alt-Right, Nationalist paradigm.

Symbolism was prevalent in Trump’s rise, beginning with his “descent from heaven” escalator ride, at his presidential run announcement at Trump Tower. Tellingly, as explored in part two… the 16th trump card of the Tarot deck is the “Tower” card. This card, found in the major arcane tarot deck, represents the breaking down of old forms (any bells ringing from Trump Tower?). The Tower card follows immediately after The Devil card, in all Tarots that contain it… and is associated with sudden, disruptive, and potentially destructive change.

In the ensuing years, Trump’s overt rise to power has moved from the speculation and trepidation of his election and early presidency, to the revelation and consternation of his now-apparent political agenda. With his relative silence (read: implied condoning) during the shock-troop rally in Charlottesville, Virginia… with his vitriolic rhetoric and methodical actions taken to block immigration and his vilification of refugees…  Trump’s intent came into focus.

His recent antics of separating families at our southern border, announcing his intent to abolish the 14th amendment by presidential decree, and finally, straight-up announcing to the world at a political rally in Texas that he considers himself a “Nationalist” …Trump has “come out of the closet” to clearly identify his politics… that of Fascism. Trump is a proclaimed fascist. His politics incorporate chauvinism, racism, and a mystique of violence… all crucial ingredients in a fascist State. This reality is not news, as this is the platform he campaigned on. What is new, is that he now publicly embraces his fascism and boldly pursues it.

Trump the man is entertaining enough. He has a certain braggadocios, machismo charm that oddly works for a guy in his early 70’s... an age where most men have matured beyond bodaciousness. Trump the persona projects classic, alpha male characteristics… traits he desperately needed as a Mafioso/Real Estate developer in New York City. His mobster business practices, which excluded him from securing legitimate bank loans, required him to deal with Saudi despots and Russian oligarchs, where the loan terms were… “take the silver or take the lead.”

It is important to remember Trump’s organized crime background. It clarifies his actions in dealing with Putin and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (affectionately known as MbS by political cronies). It makes more sense that president Trump would kowtow to crime families that he is beholden to. Besides… who buys Trump’s real estate if not Russian oligarchs and the Saudis?  They are his real constituents. He must have some pretty horrific loan obligations.

But it is Trump the symbol that is of the most interest and topic of this article. The rise of Trump as the figurehead of a Cult of Personality which promotes a fascist agenda does not bode well for a democratic republic, such as the United States of America. This is extremely troubling, but again, not surprising. Cult of Personality is by definition a product of fascism. I know what you’re thinking… the word “fascist” gets bandied about so much as to be a meaningless term. You’re thinking I am using the term “fascist" as a pejorative… an insult to hurtle at the Donald.

What I am thinking... is that the rise of fascist ideology equates to the decline of freedom. Fascism rises in direct opposition to the personal freedoms of a Republic and the collective (greatest good for greatest numbers) freedoms of a Democracy. Those at the highest echelons of power are now openly attacking the very principles that have truly made America great… and Trump is the personification, the occult symbol of those in power. We need to look beyond the man.

Vigilance is called for. The synchromystic signs and portents of Occult Trump Symbolism reflect a deeper machination. The figurehead is symbolic of powerful, Big Brother energies, who seek to shape the world in their image. Dark Powers, typified by the Cult of Kek phenomena are also at play.

The shit is getting real… Fast. The veneer of Democracy is paper thin. As the figurehead of Cult of Personality, Trump is pursuing an agenda that has been authorized and well laid out, far in advance of the election. So far, it has gone down the way the powers want it to go. Divide and conquer. It behooves us all not to get caught up in the partisan rhetoric… in the tribalism-by-design of the American Archons. Nationalism and Globalism are constructs of the powerful.

If you really want to know the truth… the jobs are not coming back. The barbarian hordes are not at the gate. The future is scary… it always has been. The world is changing.

Earth is a wondrous, beautiful planet. As stewards, we can allocate planetary resources in such a way as to provide safety and sustenance for all… if we wanted to. Together we can build a beautiful future... if we want to... but we really have to want it. Can I see a show of hands for all those in favor of a peaceful planet… free of hate... and with liberty and justice for all? I thought so. I guess at the end of the day… that is what democracy is all about… a show of hands.