Yes, it’s the 16th of June, better known to James Joyce geeks like me as Bloom’s Day. The day is named in honor of Leopold Bloom, the Jewish advertising sales rep and Freemason who is one of the major characters in Joyce’s novel Ulysses. The novel also brings along Stephen Dedalus, the protagonist of his earlier novel Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
For those unfamiliar with this work, Ulysses is Joyce’s stream-of-consciousness novel in which he metaphorically features the events from the Odyssey in a single day – June 16th, 1904, in Dublin. (The day he met Nora Barnacle, the woman he would eventually marry after living together for decades) Bloom represents Ulysses/Odysseus, Stephen represents Telemachus and Leopold’s wife, Molly Bloom, represents Penelope.
The novel is jam-packed with Continue reading
FOR MY MAIN LIST OF GODS FROM MADAGASCAR CLICK HERE
MAHAKA & KOTOFETSY – Trickster deities to the Merina people of Madagascar. Mahaka and Kotofetsy are depicted like Coyote is depicted in Native American myths. In some tales their deceptive nature is applauded and in others condemned.
On occasion Merina people who prided themselves on their own wit and trickery would try to outdo Mahaka and Kotofetsy. In one myth the pair transform themselves into old men to put their adversary at ease, only to trick him out of everything he owns, right down to his clothing. The defeated man runs home naked, pursued by a jeering mob.
Other myths involving the pair:
Mahaka and Kotofetsy frame a would-be antagonist for sorcery, causing him to be beaten with sticks by his neighbors, who think he has desecrated their loved one’s tomb. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog looks at another neglected pantheon of gods and goddesses. The Tupari people live near the Rio Branco in Brazil and though they are far from numerous I find their mythology to be as riveting and full of rich details as the belief systems of any other group.
A striking element of the Tupari belief system is the way in which the word “pod” is used the way “kami” is used in Shinto myths. Pod, like kami, can be used when referring to actual deities but also to lesser supernatural beings, so there is often debate over the exact status of an individual entity in the Tupari’s metaphysical heirarchy.
10. MULHER – The primordial Earth goddess from whom all the other deities descended. In the beginning when there was no life on Earth and no gods in the heavens Mulher existed alone. Her original form was that of an enormous black rock with a very smooth surface, much like Zoroastrian mythology describes the Earth before the evil god Ahriman ruined its pristine perfection. Mulher split open one day like an egg and her first child, the god Valedjad was born amid a stream of blood flowing from Mulher. Again she split open and her second son Vab emerged from within her in a similar blood stream. When earthquakes occur today it is Mulher splitting open again, but no more children are born – rather her blood – lava – flows like the blood from menstruating women.
9. PATSIARE – The god who separated the Earth and the sky. He then created the poles that support the sky above the Earth the way similar poles support the domed roofs of the Tupari’s houses. In Tupari cosmology the world is shaped like a Continue reading
Voodoo mythology is a fascinating hybrid of Yoruban, Dahomey, Fon and Christian mythology intermixed with touches from Caribbean belief systems.
Haiti is the central location of the Voodoo belief system but naturally it has spread throughout the world as have other faiths.
Here is a VooDoo god whose Holy Day is today, May 1st.
ZACA – The god of agriculture and the harvest, making him the patron deity of farmers and fieldworkers. Zaca is the friendliest and most approachable of the gods and may be addressed as “Cousin Zaca” if spotted in the fields. He dresses in denims and a straw hat just like the rural Haitians do. In addition Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog’s mythology posts are among the most popular parts of this site. As a change of pace from my examinations of multiple deities from a single mythological pantheon this time I’ll do a light-hearted look at solar deities – both male and female – from around the world.
Lore: Also called Malina, Seqinek’s home was in Udlormiut, the land that was on the other side of the sky. In Inuit cosmology the sky was the roof of the enormous ice- house (igloo) that enclosed the world and Udlormiut lay on the other side.
By day Seqinek would leave her home and run across the sky, with the sun itself being the flame from the torch she carried as she ran. The goddess was forever fleeing her brother, the moon god Tatqim, whose partially burnt- out torch was the moon.
For more Inuit deities – https://glitternight.com/inuit-myth/
Lore: The sun was Surya’s chariot racing across Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog examines two more ancient works which – if they had been deemed “authentic” (LMAO) – might have resulted in very different versions of Easter celebrations.
THE GOSPEL OF THE EGYPTIANS – This Apocryphal Gospel is also referred to as The Gospel According to the Egyptians. This particular work is dated to around the 100s A.D.
The surviving references to this Gospel center around conversations between Jesus and one of his female followers – Salome. The gist of the material is the Gnostic condemnation of procreation, since in their view the reproductive process does nothing but entrap even more spiritual matter in the physical world created by Yaldabaoth, the Demiurge.
Jesus calls for humanity to reject and despise “the shameful garment” called the body. He also hinted that once spiritual matter returns to the Pleroma that all duality will cease, including the notions of male and female, which will no longer be separate states of being.
One of the key sayings in The Gospel of the Egyptians is found when Jesus tells Salome “Death will endure as long as women give birth.” This concept is also alluded to when Jesus says “I have come to destroy the works of the female,” referring, of course, to all of us since our bodies – our physical prisons to the Gnostics – all emerged from the wombs of women. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog continues examining various accounts of dead and resurrected deities, as is customary at this time of year.
THE GOSPEL OF THE SAVIOR – The narrative of this gospel centers around dialogues between Jesus and his apostles in the last few days before his arrest and crucifixion.
Some of the material is similar to the Gospels of John and Matthew, but some is Gnostic, with references to discarding the useless garment of the body so the soul can return to the empyrean realm.
The most striking departure in this gospel comes in the Garden of Gethsemane segment, when Jesus, as God the Son, traditionally prays to God the Father to spare him the ordeals that lay ahead. In The Gospel of the Savior Jesus transports himself and his apostles to the throne-room of God the Father where he makes his appeal in person. Continue reading