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« When more is less in discussing religion | Main | Scotty writes his memoirs »

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

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Nightwind

So...is that an accepted or non-accepted variation?

Nightwind

Alternatively..."Quick, finish the sacrifice! Do you have any idea how long it took us to get the kitty to stand inside that pentagram?"

Janet

It's a PENTAKITTY!!!! How adorable. Can we make the pentagram pink? And maybe velvet? Or feathers so the kitty witty can have something to play with!??!?!

Tim

Recognizing a Brother's Religion

Janet

good get, tim.

Nightwind

The Daily Show essentially "put a kitty on it" last night when discussing Iraq. It consisted of a report that we had airdropped thousands of kitties into Iraq under the theory that surely suicide bombers wouldn't kill people carrying adorable kitties. This was followed up with the suggestion that, if this didn't work, we would be handing out thousands of pairs of glasses to Iraqis, because even if suicide bombers were willing to kill people with adorable kitties, surely they wouldn't kill a person wearing glasses. If THAT didn't work, the logical conclusion is that glasses would be provided for the kitties as well.

Rose Paul

That pentagram is not a symbol of Wicca. That is the satanic version (also the Hollywood version)of the pentagram.
We Wiccans wear the pentagram properly with Spirit at the top.
Technically, the star with a circle around it is a pentacle.
Yes, I have seen many versions of "Putting a kitty" in the pentagon portion of the pentacle.
I have seen dragons, fairies, a besom, etc. I have seen a cat, it was the normal hissing version of the popular familiar.
Personally, this witch doesn't care for cats.
Saphyre Rose

Janet

yes, well, i noticed that the pentagram was rotated, too. but the kitty is CUTE!!!!!!! And how FREAKIN' lame is it to adopt a symbol that's nothing more than someone else's icon turned upside down? I mean, really. That's the best "satanists" can do? There are no graphic designers in hell??! Of COURSE there are, I've worked with those kind of people for YEARS...

Nightwind

Ahem...I think Rose Paul needs a lesson in identifying humor. A little less self-absorption would help too. As stated in the original post by myself: there is no such thing as a "proper" way to display a pentagram. Wiccans tend to (but not always)display it point up. Satanists tend to (but not always) display it point down. It's a shape. It doesn't have an inherent top or bottom to it.

Janet, Both Wiccans and Satanists borrowed the pentagram and it's symbolism from ceremonial magic. They didn't just turn the Wiccan symbol upside down.

Tim

The Pythagorean Pentacle
The Pentagram

Janet

Yeah, I was trying to be funny. I actually have sort of a symbology hobby.

I had this idea once for a computer database of visual symbols covering meanings, origins, history, cultural variations; I thought it would be great for writers or artists have a way to cross-reference color with runes with alchemy with deities with astrology, blah, blah, blah. I have this thick, dust-covered binder full of information that I worked on like a fiend for months.

As the sites Tim links to show, it's pretty hard for any one group or culture to claim they had a symbol first or exclusively, unless you're talking modern trademarked icons, which even then are often derivative. The Mitsubishi three-diamond symbol is also a Nordic symbol of power. The star with the "horns" up in a circle was part of the seal of Constantine.

I loved how the intro to the movie "The DaVinci Code" showed the evolution of symbols through time and culture. Any meaning ascribed now can only be an interpretation, sort of historical hearsay. Many symbols are from long-gone cultures that did not have written languages, and even when they did, we can only guess at cultural context.

Mass media, of course, is far more powerful in its ability to stamp a visual with a particular meaning, but I question any claims of a "definitive" interpretation of old symbols, or modern ones, now that I think about it. And then there's the whole layer of individual interpretation: The pentagram evokes a response from Catherine that is miles away from the one it calls forth from, say, my mother. The "true" meaning of the symbol is irrelevant at that level; it's communicating something different to each person.

Which is not to say one can't attempt to standardize meaning or redefine a symbol. This can be done deliberately, such as efforts to disassociate Wicca's symbol from satanism or an attempt to take the earth diamond and associate it with a car company; or by something as serendipitous as a Roman writing down his take on a pagan symbol with no one to say otherwise. Or it can simply be the result of a mass experience, such as the Nazi swastika, which had a very different meaning in Persia.

Wow. Sorry. This is one of my favorite topics.

Spyder

I suppose this is in response to that CNN bigot on before Nancy Grace? That pudgy dude who looks sort of like Chris Farley.

Anyhow I'm sort of 1/2 listening to him one night, considering whether he's more like The King Bigot Bill O'Reilly, or That bow-tie dude.

He seemed to be on some diatribe about Free Speech and religion. For some reason I head him blurt out something like:

"I guess I can't say I'm CHISTIAN but its OK for THEM to say they are WICCAN?"

As a Wiccan myself, the tone he used for "WICCAN" chilled my heart. We're he discussing parenting, he might have said:

"I guess I can't say I'm A CARING DAD but its OK for THEM to say they are CHILD MOLESTORS?"

He would have said CHILD MOLESTOR with the same sarcastic intonation.

I don't really find it disconcerting that people like that are out there. Bigots are a dime-a-dozen. But it is disconcerting that they have enough dedicated viewers to get TV spots?


Hey CNN - We're Wiccan! BOO!

Daniel

I think you're talking about Glenn Beck. The best that can be said of him is that he's probably a waterhead retard, bless his heart.

Tim

Glenn Beck, aired February 26, 2007 - 19:00:00 ET

Why is it that, if I assert my faith in Jesus, it is such a volatile statement, yet you can be a Wiccan or worship any dime-store guru that you want, and the rest of us in the country are supposed to champion your freedom of religion? Shouldn`t it go both ways?

Tim

Video at Media Matters

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