Tag Archives | Rituals

Utah Town Burned 16-Foot Mammoth Effigy For Winter Solstice

This is my kind of Christmas — shades of The Wicker Man in a remote Utah town.  Salt Lake City’s KSL reports:

The town is relying on the wooden mammoth to hopefully catch the attention of researchers. The effigy, built to scale, was built over the course of three weeks by Pachak and Bluff residents, using only sticks and two support poles. The 8 p.m. ceremony will include drumming, and Gulliford said the effigy won’t be set on fire with just matches.

The mammoth is meant to celebrate the winter solstice and draw attention to the historical significance of the area. Mammoth petroglyphs [were discovered] near Bluff, a town of a few hundred people located on the San Juan River. Rock expert and local artist Joe Pachak first discovered the petroglyphs in 1987, but they have been a source of controversy ever since.

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On The Hidden Pagan Meaning Of Santa Claus

Via Verso Books, McKenzie Wark defends Christmas in fantastic fashion:

Xmas is pagan, and this is what places it outside of Jewish and Christian understandings, of gifts, of aesthetics, of time. Christians understood its power and tried to coopt it. But the Christian version distorts it by tying it to the birth of their sacrificial savior. The pagan way is about understanding excess in and of itself, not as compensation for sacrifice.

What is essential to Xmas: there is a tree, and a gift for a child under a tree, that is “from Santa.” For the child, Xmas has nothing to do with ‘consumerism’. The gift just appears. Its a bit of what the surrealists called the marvelous. For the adult, it is a way to give to the child without expecting the child to be grateful to the parent. Rather, it is so the child can know that world itself could be generous.

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1,000-Year-Old Mass Grave Of Elongated Skulls Found In Mexico

The remains of “lucky,” high-power individuals who had their heads ritually elongated have previously been unearthed across the globe in South America, Germany, and Greece. Was the goal to mimic the look of alien overlords? Via Yahoo! News UK:

An archaeological dig near the village of Onavas, south of Sonora in Mexico has uncovered strange elongated skulls from more than a millenia ago. The burial site contained 25 individuals, 13 with elongated skulls – reminiscent of the monster from Ridley Scott’s Alien.

The ‘cranial deformation’ in the skulls is actually intentional – carried out by binding the heads of babies to produce the bizarre effect. For pre-Hispanic cultures in the area, longer skulls were a sign of social status.

‘Cranial deformation in Mesoamerican cultures was used to differentiate one social group from another and for ritual purposes,’ said Cristina Garcia Moreno, the head of the research project. South American cultures such as the Maya and Inca practiced cranial deformation – and the practice was also known in Germany and Ancient Greece.

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Texas Man Arrested For Carving Pentagram Into His Son On 12/12/12 ‘Holy Day’

CNN reports a case with all the telltale signs of demonic possession, or the impending end of the world:

A Texas man appears to have interpreted the date of 12/12/12 as a reason to carry out a grotesque and sinister act. “I shed some innocent blood,” Brent Troy Bartel told a police dispatcher from the Fort Worth suburb of Richland Hills in a phone call just after midnight.

When the dispatcher asked him to clarify, Bartel responded in a matter-of-fact tone, “I inscribed a pentagram on my son…’Cause it’s a holy day.”

When police officers arrived at the home, they say they found the traumatized boy standing shirtless with a large red pentagram carved into the skin on his back. His blood was smeared on the front door of the house. They arrested Bartel, whose manner was flat and emotionless. What exactly may have motivated Bartel, who is being held in local jail on a $500,000 bond, remains unclear.

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New Agers Vandalize Ohio’s Serpent Mound in “Working”

You’re welcome, Native Americans…

A group of “light warriors” buried what may be hundreds of small muffinlike resin objects, embedded with aluminum foil and quartz crystals, at Serpent Mound with the intent of realigning the energy of the ancient Native American site in Peebles.

The Ohio Historical Society and Adams County Sheriff K.R. Rogers haven’t arrested anybody yet in what they consider a serious vandalism case. But the people who apparently did it made it easy by laying out their actions in an extensive YouTube video where they acknowledge they “did some work” in September at the site in Adams County to help “lift the vibration of the Earth so we can all rise together.”

Read more at the Columbus Dispatch.

Hat tip: Skeptic.

Editor’s note: Video has been removed from YouTube. Believe me, I searched.

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Bizarre Death Rituals In Newly Discovered Oldest European Town

The first known European settlement contains a 7,000-year-old tomb complex where corpses were chopped in two before being positioned upright…as if to prevent the dead from rising again and running amok, but allowing them to face each other and converse. The Daily Mail reports:

Residents of what is thought to be Europe’s oldest town cut their dead in half and buried them from the pelvis up, according to archaeologists. The newly discovered ancient settlement, thought to date back to 4700 BC, is near the Bulgarian town of Provadia, about 25 miles from the Black Sea coast.

Archaeology professor Vassil Nikolov led the dig which focused on the town itself and its necropolis, where the strange and complex burial rituals were discovered.

Nikolov [said] the town’s 300 to 350 residents lived in two-storey homes and earned their living mining the surrounding area for salt, which was as important to the ancient world as oil is today.

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A Secret Look Inside Mormon Temple Rituals

Supposedly filmed via hidden camera, this footage of sacred, closed-to-the-public Mormon rituals -- which come across as quite bizarre viewed from an outsider perspective -- has been making waves. Prayers to the planet Kolob, horned oxen, baptism of the dead, golden curtains, secret handshakes, and everything else you might hope for are included:
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Japanese Exorcist Whose Rituals Killed Six Receives Death Penalty

It seems anyone who crossed the Japanese faith healer with a small cult following would be beaten to death with sticks in an deadly “exorcism” rite. Via Japan Subculture:

Sachiko Eto, 65, a faith healer and self-professed exorcist, was convicted for murder after the deaths of six believers in Fukushima Prefecture between 1994 and 1995.

According to Japanese media reports and The Associated Press, Sachiko Eto, her daughter and another accomplice had beaten their victims to death, using thick drumsticks. The beating were to “drive out demons hiding in their bodies” and conducted in her home. At least one of the exorcisms was apparently motivated by Ms. Eto’s decision that the the victim was sleeping with Ms. Eto’s lover. Another victim was “exorcised” after refusing to loan Ms. Eto money. There were also questions as to the vanishing of her husband in 1992, before she became a spiritual leader.

Eto is reportedly the first female in Japan to be executed in more than 15 years.

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Disturbing Ritual Livestock Mutilations Strike Colorado Ranches

Satanists, aliens, or sociopathic sadists? One of these is at the heart of a gruesome mystery lurking within a valley of the Rocky Mountains. Via the Denver Post:

Recent livestock mutilations have Gunnison area ranchers shaken and on the alert for more strange attacks on cattle and horses.

A horse was shot and had its head skinned at the LeValley Ranch property, about eight miles east of Gunnison. The horse also had its tongue and anus removed. Less than two months ago, a prize heifer in the same heavily traveled area had its tongues, lips and anus removed. Two other incidents took place on other ranches in that vicinity in May and July.

“To me it looks like a ritualistic issue. Either that, or they are high on drugs. There is just no logical explanation for it,” said Esty Ranch owner Mike Clarke.

The recent mutilations have similarities to mutilations that occurred in the 1960s in neighboring Saguache County.

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Repetitious, Time-Intensive Magical Rituals Considered More Effective, Study Shows

ScienceDaily?  Yep, ScienceDaily:

To find out how people rate the effectiveness of magical rituals, Legare and graduate student André Souza conducted a study in Brazil, a country suffused with rituals called simpatias. Used for solving problems as varied as quitting smoking, curing asthma and warding off bad luck, simpatias are formulaic rituals that involve various steps and repetition.

The psychologists presented 162 Brazilian respondents several versions of these rituals. Each was modified with different characteristics, such as repetition of procedures, number of steps, number of items used, and the presence of religious icons.

As part of the study, Legare asked the respondents to rate the effectiveness of each ritual. According to the findings, three elements of the simpatias had the biggest influence: number of steps, repetition of procedures and a specified time.

Read more at ScienceDaily.

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