Thursday, December 30, 2021
Monday, December 27, 2021
Sunday, December 26, 2021
Weird fact: Omicron originates from the Phoenician letter ayin which means “eye”. The symbol representing Delta is a triangle. The combination of the two = the ultimate symbol of the occult elite.
Friday, December 24, 2021
|Lorenzo Ghiberti, Madonna and Child|
Jesus said, "I am, above all, the Light. . . . From me did the All come forth, and unto me does the All extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up a stone, and you will find me there."
-- Gospel of Thomas, 77
By what we dismissively call "coincidence," Francis Berger is also thinking of the Gospel of Thomas this Christmastide.
It is a bleak world we find ourselves in this Christmas, bleak almost beyond imagining -- and yet it is a world into which the Christ of God has incarnated, permanently, and that makes all the difference. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:22).
Merry Christmas to all my readers, old friends and newcomers alike. Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.
Monday, December 20, 2021
Our English word dolphin comes from the Latin delphinus. This in turn comes from Greek delphis (genitive delphinos) and ultimately from delphus, "womb," presumably because the dolphin was thought of as the "fish with a womb." Delphus, "womb," is also the source of adelphos, "brother or sister" (literally "from one womb"), whence for example Philadelphia, "city of brotherly love."
"Look unto the rock whence ye are hewn," writes Isaiah, "and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged." Then, explaining his metaphor, he adds, "Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you" (Isa. 51:1-2). Thus is the womb from which one is born assimilated to a pit from which one is dug. The Old English word for "to dig" was delfan (whence our modern delve), and the past participle (as would be used to translate Isaiah) was dolfen.
Less than a century after his time, Adolf Hitler is already well on his way to becoming a mythical or legendary figure. In the future, when the details of 20th-century history have been lost in the mists of time, philologists will assume that his name has a similar derivation to that of dolphin, with Adolphus coming from Adelphos, and they will consider him to be essentially the same figure as his English counterpart, Big Brother.
In fact, though, the true etymology of Adolf is not a-dolf but ad-olf -- from Athalwolf, "noble wolf." Isn't it a curious coincidence, though, that Germanic names ending in -olf always seem to end in -dolf, even though dolf is not a morpheme? Besides Adolph, there are also Rudolph ("fame wolf," but sure to be misinterpreted by future etymologists as Rudelaph, "red deer"), Bardolph ("axe wolf"), and Randolph ("shield wolf"). Randolph is especially noteworthy, as it derives from Old Norse Rannulfr, with the d added later for no apparent reason other than some sort of magnetic attraction between the wolf and the dolphin.
Apollo was closely associated with the wolf and was given the epithet Lyceus, "wolf-like." He also had a close connection with the dolphin, though, and it is from this animal that Delphi presumably takes its name. Apollo himself once took dolphin form to guide Cretan sailors to Delphi, and it was after singing a hymn to Apollo that Arion was rescued by dolphins.
René Guénon, in his essay on the meaning of the Arabic letter nun, writes that the whale plays a womb-like role in the story of Jonah and notes the relevance of the etymological link between dolphin and the womb. I have alredy mentioned (here) that the "big bad wolf" plays a similar role in the story of Little Red Riding Hood. And just as Jonah must have been swallowed by a whale, a dolphin being much too small, so I have conjectured that the "big bad wolf" of the fairy tale was actually a bear. (Bear, by coincidence, is also the verb associated with the womb.)
Coming back to -dolf names, there is also the Italian Gandolfo -- of Germanic origin and meaning "spell wolf," but suggesting Tolkien's Gandalf, in which the latter element means not "wolf" but "elf." Do elves, like wolves, have a dolphin connection? It is interesting to note that Tolkien's orcs came from elves and represented a monstrous distortion of elf-nature. And what do we call the most "monstrous" member of the dolphin family, scarcely recognizable as a dolphin at all? Orca.
Sunday, December 19, 2021
|From Raphael's Council of the Gods|
A correspondent recently emailed me about the upcoming Pluto Return -- the return of Pluto, for the first time, to the precise zodiacal position it occupied on July 4, 1776 -- and I mentioned in reply that I had previously associated Biden with Pluto because his name resembles bident, the two-pronged spear traditionally associated with Pluto.
On December 18, I received two emails in reply. The first asked me to send links to the blog posts where I had mentioned the Biden-Bident-Pluto connection, and the second pointed out an additional Biden-Bident link that I had not previously been aware of.
I've been researching about Pluto and the Bident and found this interesting connection from Wiki: "In Roman agriculture, the bidens (genitive bidentis) was a double-bladed drag hoe." . . . I don't know if you've read this or not on social media / urban slang, but Biden and Harris are often referred to as JOE AND THE HOE. Harris being the Hoe because of allegations that Harris 'slept' her way up to her positions in politics, especially with her alleged relationship with Willie Brown.
Thinking about the Bident again today, I realized that there is another prominent person whose name is associated with a two-pronged fork: David Hume.
And doesn't the name Hume strongly suggest Pluto? To exhume a body is to remove it from the grave, so by implication hume is the common grave of mankind, Sheol or Hades. Hume's name was originally spelled Home, but that is appropriate as well. "Man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets" (Ecclesiastes 12:5). Or, as They Might Be Giants put is, "We long to swim for home, but our only home is bone."
Exhume actually derives from humus, "earth," whence also humanus, "earthling." Thus the etymology of human parallels that of Adam, from adamah, "earth."
In my "Green Manalishi" post of exactly a year ago, I associate the two-prong crown of the Manalishi with the two-prong bident of Pluto. (The song was supposedly inspired by a drug-induced dream of being barked at by a long-dead green dog that represented money. Pluto represents both money and death, and he has a dog.)
The two-prong crown made me think of the "two-horned man" of the Quran, recently mentioned both by myself and by Chris Knowles, as described in my post "Ye Cannot Serve God and Ammon?" The title of that post alludes to Knowles's theory that Mammon (money) derives from Ammon -- but money is more an attribute of Pluto than of Jupiter.
The two-horned man is Alexander the Great, portrayed with horns because he was supposed to be the son of Zeus Ammon -- a combination of Zeus with the Egyptian god Amun, who was sometimes given a ram's head or four rams' heads. This four-headed "Ram of Mendes," later considered to be a form of Amun, was called Banebdjedet. The Wikipedia article on this god begins thus:
Banebdjedet (Banebdjed) was an ancient Egyptian ram god with a cult centre at Mendes. Khnum was the equivalent god in Upper Egypt.
And who is Khnum? Well, it turns out he is none other than the Green Manalishi with the two-prong crown.
That's right, Khnum (the god of the Nile, later assimilated to Zeus Ammon as Jupiter Nilus) is specifically a green god with two horns.
The second of the demonic beasts of the Apocalypse -- the one that comes from the earth rather than the sea and would thus be associated with Pluto rather than Neptune -- also wears the two-prong crown.
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men (Rev. 13:11-13).
The horns of this beast are specifically those of a sheep, but the beast's true nature is that of a dragon. Compare this two Khnum, who has the horns of a ram but is green -- a reptilian, not a mammalian, color.
The association of the apocalyptic Manalishi with supernaturally produced fire is also interesting, given the inexplicable but persistent way in which the sync fairies keep connecting Joe Biden with the idea of spontaneous human combustion.
With seven each of creatures clean,of unclean two. And here is seenhow mercy doth prevail in Heaven:Though man's an unclean creature, seventhe Lord permitted to embarkalong with me into the ark.My wife, my sons, my sons' three wives:He saved their five-too-many lives!
Saturday, December 18, 2021
Pearly dew drops glistenOver hill and plain;Nodding flowers tell usEaster dawns again;Fleecy clouds are peepingFrom the azure sky;Happy birds are singingPraise to God on high.Streamlets gently murmurGreetings in their flow;Joyous bells are chimingCarols sweet and low;Golden sunbeams sparkleOver branches green;Loving Easter tokensEverywhere are seen.Nature's beauties whisperOf the Saviour's might;And His resurrectionIn the morning light;If the voice of natureEchoes in God's praise;Can we not, His children,Hearts and voices raise?
Friday, December 17, 2021
"And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine."
His lord answered and said unto him, "Thou wicked and slothful servant!"
-- Matt. 25:25-26
I recently read this passage in Roger Hathaway's The Mystic Passion.
Now, entertain in your imagination for a moment, a world of diverse spiritual people who have such confidence in their own spiritual truths that they can permit others to differ and grant truths might be understood differently by other persons. Since the Spirit of God motivates within a seeker such insights for the purpose of that person's path of enlightenment, is it not incumbent upon us to stand aside and permit the God to do His own work? In such a world of loving and communing and worshiping of our eternal Father, there might be many differing opinions, many discussions, sincere arguments, formulations of defenses (apologies), and intense studies.
So what if one person believes the Holy Spirit of God to be a separate person from the Father while another believes it to be the extension of the essence and power of the Eternal Father himself? So what if one person believes Jesus to be co-eternal with the Father for a three-person-God while another person believes him to be begotten as a Word spoken in time? So what if one person believes Baptism should be by immersion and another by anointing? Spiritual fellowship need not be endangered but could be enhanced as the sharing of speculations and discussions!
There would be no hatred or anger, no insistence upon agreement, no condemnations of fellow seekers, no inquisitions, no organizations claiming exclusive rights of salvation. What there would be: implicit confidence that God is great enough to guide His own children to Himself in His own way. This God of all-that-is has never been so emotionally sensitive that He cannot tolerate the stumbling of his children while they learn to walk. As any mother reaches down to help a baby who has stumbled, so does God pull into His heart with special love a child who sincerely reaches toward him. It is hardly comprehensible to my mind that the so-called church of a loving God could fail to recognize the simple love that a mother knows instinctively.
Shortly thereafter, as part of my project of listening to the entire Bible read aloud, I listened to the following passage in Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians (3:10-16).
According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
Christ never intended that we should take his teachings as some finished and inviolable Temple, complete in every way, to be passively received, codified in creeds, and propagated. The Sower has sown his Word, and we who receive are to bring forth fruit -- new Word -- some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
Some are hesitant to build on the foundation that is Christ, hesitant to think "beyond what has been revealed." Yes, much of what we build will turn out to be stubble and straw -- are we better builders than the incomparable Thomas Aquinas? -- but that is a finite loss, a risk well worth taking. We ourselves will be saved, and who knows if some of what we have built will survive as a precious stones in the Temple of God. In John's vision of the New Jerusalem descending from heaven, he notes that "the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones" (Rev. 21:19) and goes on to list specific stones which his readers would have recognized as symbols of the twelve tribes of Israel -- that is, of God's people scattered throughout the nations. We -- we mere mortals -- are to be the precious stones garnishing the foundations.
The only danger is in becoming too attached to one's thoughts, in identifying with them, and thus being unwilling to part with them when the time comes. (See "No mercy for sin.") That is to say, the danger is in pride. Paul speaks of the day that will test every man's work and burn up all that can be burned of it. The structures of stubble we have built will be consumed, but we ourselves will be saved. What of the proud, though, those who have become so attached to their structures that they feel as if they are that stubble? Malachi has the answer.
For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (4:1-2).
That final clause is ambiguous in the Hebrew; another possible reading is "and ye shall go forth leaping like calves released from the stall." To those whose hearts are rightly centered, the burning of all that burns will bring only freedom release.
Aquinas was, by a happy coincidence, nicknamed the Dumb Ox. When he was granted his heavenly vision, when he saw that great Sun of righteousness that burns as an oven and tries every man's work, when he was moved to say of his own life's work, "All that I have written is as straw," I like to think that, saint that he was, he left it all behind lightly and went gamboling forth as a calf released from the stall. And it was not all straw, far from it. Surely some of the glittering gems in the walls of the heavenly Jerusalem are his.
As Malachi says elsewhere, "And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him" (3:17).
Thursday, December 16, 2021
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Monday, December 13, 2021
Saturday, December 11, 2021
Friday, December 10, 2021
Back in February, I posted "Year of the Ox," speculating on the possible symbolic or synchronistic meanings of the current year (12 Feb. 2021 - 31 Jan. 2022) in the Chinese zodiac. Somehow I missed the most obvious link of all.
Tolkien's Nevbosh word for "cow" was woc -- clever because it is cow spelled backwards but also suggests the Latin vacca. (According to Daniel Dawson, "The kids were well aware of this double etymology.") These days it also reminds one of woke.
Chinese years cycle through the five Chinese elements as well as the 12 zodiac signs, and this year is specifically the Year of the Gold Ox. This suggests the golden calf as an object of idolatrous worship, which is also singularly appropriate.
Next year will be the Year of the Tiger. Buckle up.
Thursday, December 9, 2021
|Mercury with a cock|
(Tarot of Mantegna)
Yesterday, I posted "The curious incident of the cock at dawn," in which I wrote as if from an alternate timeline and used the story of Peter's three denials before cockcrow to explore questions of agency and fate and whether Peter could have acted otherwise than it had been prophesied that he would act. For reasons related to the "alternate timeline" conceit, I modified the biblical text to say that the cock would "call out" rather than "crow."
This morning, I checked Synlogos and clicked a few of the links. Both Dark Brightness and Vox Day had posted links to a long article called "How to Build a Small Town in Texas." I didn't read the whole article but skimmed it a bit and noticed this illustration: a map of a Belgian town, with a caption inviting the reader to imagine "the invigorating call of roosters in the morning."
Later I brought up the app I have been using to listen to the entire Bible read aloud. It was at the beginning of John 14 -- that is, just a few verses before the one highlighted by BibleGateway, and immediately after "The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice." I wrote my "cock at dawn" post well before reaching this point in my Bible listening, and an earlier draft even included a reference to John 14:1: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me."
Wednesday, December 8, 2021
When Hamlet says, "We defy augury," modern readers are likely to understand this in terms of such familiar expressions as to defy comprehension and take it to mean, "Whatever is predicted of us, we can ignore the prediction and do otherwise." In fact, Hamlet's meaning is very nearly the opposite: We ignore omens that would allow us to predict and prevent future events, because all is fated and the future cannot be changed.
The naïve reader is liable to make a similar mistake in interpreting Jesus' famously cryptic statement to Simon Peter: "The cock shall not call out till thou hast denied me thrice." Thinking of such expressions as when pigs fly or when hell freezes over, the reader is likely to understand Jesus as saying, "You will certainly never deny me."
There are multiple obvious problems with this reading, though. What can thrice mean, for instance? That Peter might deny Jesus once or twice but that three times was unthinkable? And isn't the whole construction backwards? We say, "That won't happen until pigs fly," not, "Pigs won't fly until that happens."
As it happens, there is very strong textual evidence that what Jesus meant was, "You will certainly deny me, this very night." As strange as it may seem, multiple ancient authorities attribute to the "cock" (ἀλέκτωρ) a distinctive cry or "crow," sometimes represented as kukuriku or some similar onomatopoeia, and apparently cocks used to "crow" with such regularity that farmers used to use them as a sort of natural alarm clock, rising "at cockcrow" -- that is, at dawn. Thus, Jesus almost certainly meant, "You will deny me thrice before daybreak."
What to make, then, of the fact that Peter apparently never did deny Jesus, not even once, but stood with him when all the other disciples had abandoned him and was crucified alongside him? And how to reconcile the whole story with the very obvious fact that the cock has no call and is in fact proverbial for its silence?
Secular scholars will explain it away, of course. Jesus simply made a mistake, they will say, and his prophecy did not come true. And the ἀλέκτωρ that is represented in the New Testament, the Homeric Hymns, Pindar's Odes, and elsewhere as "crowing" loudly and regularly must have been some other species than the silent barnyard fowl we know today.
The faithful, however, can recognize the very strong evidence that the biblical ἀλέκτωρ is none other than our familiar cock or rooster, that this very animal used to give a distinctive call every day at dawn, and that all this "crowing" abruptly and miraculously ceased when Peter -- in the naïve, not the Shakespearean sense -- defied augury.
In my December 2 post "Was baptism an ordeal," I mention Jesus' "David Blaine-like 40-day fast" just after his baptism.
A few days later, on December 5, I followed a Synlogos link to the Didactic Mind post "It's not a mystery at all," which linked to a video by one David Wood called "Muslim Scholar Warns about 'Avalanche' of Apostasy." For some reason, I clicked on the link, didn't watch the video, but did scroll down in the comments a bit, and found this: "I appreciate how David is casually open about the fact he is a psychopath and his history but has been healed and exalted through Christ!"
That piqued my interest enough to go to David Wood's main YouTube page and watch the featured video "Why I Am a Christian."
It is, as advertised, a psychopath's story of coming to Christ. Wood casually and unemotionally tells the story of how he attempted to murder his own father with a ball-peen hammer just for the hell of it, and of how he eventually became a Christian after realizing that his narcissism was philosophically incompatible with nihilism (because if nothing mattered at all, then neither did he himself). I take it all with a grain of salt (it is, after all, a tale told by a psychopath), but it's a compelling story.
Before his conversion, Wood had a Christian cellmate who used to fast, and Wood always tried to one-up him by fasting just a bit longer. Finally his cellmate goes for a 40-day water-only fast (because Jesus fasted for that long), and Wood decides to do 42 days. It is at this point that the prison authorities intervene, thinking he is attempting suicide by self-starvation, put him in solitary confinement, and force-feed him.
So the sync fairies are drawing my attention to the idea of a 40-day fast, and how it tests the limits of what the human body can endure. (Wood says something like, "Here I was trying to be like Jesus, and they thought I was trying to commit suicide!")
The general rule is that a person can live for three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food. Fasts longer than that are certainly possible -- David Blaine famously survived for 44 days on nothing but water -- but they clearly belong to the category "death-defying stunt."
When Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai, "he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water" (Ex. 34:28; see also Deut. 9:9). After seeing the Golden Calf and breaking the stone tables, he did it again: "I fell down before the Lord, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins" (Deut. 9:18). It is not clear whether he ate or drank anything between the first 40 days and the second, so it may well have been a continuous 80-day fast. Either way, Moses' surviving this fast or fasts was strictly miraculous; not even David Blaine can go 40 days without water.
Long after Moses, Elijah would duplicate this feat: An angel having provided "a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water" (1 Kgs. 19:6), Elijah "did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God" (19:8).
As for Jesus, all three synoptic Gospels mention a 40-day period of temptation in the wilderness just after his baptism, but only Matthew and Luke tell us that Jesus fasted. Matthew says, "And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred" (Matt. 4:2). Luke says, "And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered" (Luke 4:2). Both accounts focus on food and hunger and say nothing about water, so it is possible that Jesus' fast was (just barely) humanly possible, a water-only fast like David Blaine's. Given the obvious parallels to Moses and Elijah, though, it seems more likely that it was a total fast, without even water, and that Jesus' surviving the ordeal was miraculous.
That Jesus should have done something miraculous is scarcely surprising, but the 40-day fast is made puzzling by the immediate context of his temptation in the wilderness. Here is one of the ways in which the devil tempted him.
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, "If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, 'He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.'"
Jesus said unto him, "It is written again, 'Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God'" (Matt 4:5-7; cf. Luke 4:9-12).
The essence of this temptation seems to be to do something which would, in the ordinary course of nature, be suicidal, trusting God to intervene with a miracle and save you. And while God may well be willing to intervene with miracles to save your life, it would be a sin to "test" God by deliberately and artificially creating a life-threatening situation from which to be saved.
But isn't that just what Jesus did by choosing to go out in the desert and eat (and possibly drink) nothing for 40 days? Isn't that every bit as suicidal as jumping off the top of the Temple, and doesn't it "tempt God" in the same way? Why was the 40-day fast more acceptable to God than the proposed Temple jump?
One difference, I suppose, is that the Temple is in a public place. If Jesus had jumped off the Temple and been saved by angels, this would have been a public demonstration, "proving" to the people that he was the Son of God. Jesus was generally very careful not to give this kind of public demonstration, working miracles in private and often specifically instructing people not to spread the word. This may be why he chose to conduct his 40-day fast out in the wilderness; he would later tell those that fast to make an effort to "appear not unto men to fast" (Matt. 6:18), which would scarcely have been possible in the case of an extreme fast such as this one. No amount of "anointing thy head and washing thy face" (Matt. 6:17) could have covered up the fact that he was on the point of dying of starvation.
One other possibility is that Jesus never fasted for 40 days at all. Mark, on which Matthew and Luke are dependent, says only that he was tempted in the wilderness for 40 days and says nothing about a fast. We learn elsewhere in the Gospels that Jesus and his disciples were specifically noted for not fasting (Mark 2:18, Matt. 9:14). When compared with John the Baptist, who did fast, Jesus came across as "a man gluttonous, and a winebibber" (Matt. 11:19, Luke 7:34). Aside from the temptation story, the only other indication in the Gospels that Jesus ever fasted is when he casts out a devil which his disciples could not cast out and then explains that "this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting" (Matt. 17:21).
The first temptation in the wilderness was for the hungry Jesus to turn stones into bread. Combining this with the fact that he was in the wilderness for 40 days, and that both Moses and Elijah had fasted for 40 days, Matthew and Luke may have jumped to the conclusion that Jesus had done the same.
Monday, December 6, 2021
Please, God, save us from this terrible storm -- oh, never mind, it's just stopped!
-- traditional prayer
Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning.
-- the Dread Pirate Roberts
Just yesterday, I posted on how Tooth Fairy Chen (Taiwan's dentist-turned-health-dictator) had broken his promise of a month ago and decided to mandate birdemic pecks for people like me. This obviously prompted some pretty serious praying on my part, and promises of the same from some of my readers.
Well, lo and behold, the very next day, the Tooth Fairy, exhibiting the flightiness so characteristic of his species, changed his mind. I can now get pecked or continue with the weekly charade of an easy-to-fake* DIY test -- which is how things already stood anyway. Of course he could just as easily change his mind back again tomorrow, but for now things are back as they were a few days ago.
And I am left feeling that I ought to feel absolutely certain that this was an intervention of God's in answer to my prayers and those of others, but in fact able to offer only the uncertain prayer, "Thanks -- if that was you, I mean." I have still not resolved to my satisfaction the issues raised in my post "Shining Buddha problems."
Anyway, my sincere thanks for the prayers of those who prayed, regardless of whether or not those petitions affected the outcome.
* Just sayin'. I would obviously never encourage my readers to do anything of which Google would disapprove.
Taiwan will not mandate birdemic pecks: CECC
CECC says Taiwanese have right to reject peck
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In response to a recent incident in which an elementary student athlete was rejected from joining a school team for not having been fully pecked, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) reaffirmed on Wednesday (Nov. 3) that Taiwan will not mandate birdemic pecks.
[. . .]
The CECC encourages people to get pecked but will not mandate pecks, Chen said, adding that the center does not want to see people lose rights inherent to them because they chose not to get the pecks, according to the report.
Essential workers urged to get second peck before Dec. 17
Taipei, Dec. 5 (CNA) Essential workers in certain government-regulated industries will need proof of a second birdemic peck administered before Dec. 17 beginning Jan. 1, the CECC (Central Epidemic Command Center) announced Sunday.
At a press briefing, CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said that the tightened rules would include requiring workers attached to certain ministries to be fully pecked by Jan. 1, with at least 14 days between receiving their second peck and their first day of work.
Those employed by or working in institutions under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education (MOE), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), and the Ministry of Labor (MOL) will be covered by the CECC's new regulations.
What happened between Nov. 3 and Dec. 5 to make the Tooth Fairy change his mind? Well, there have been 130 birdemic-related deaths in Taiwan in that period: 1 from the birdemic itself and 129 from peck side effects. Obviously, the solution is to force more people to get pecked! Look how well that's working for every other country in the world.
As a teacher and school owner, I am subject to the Ministry of Education. I am weighing my options, of which I need scarcely say that getting pecked myself is not one. Your prayers are much appreciated.
Saturday, December 4, 2021
Friday, December 3, 2021
Thursday, December 2, 2021
But Jesus said unto them, "Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"And they said unto him, "We can."
And Jesus said unto them, "Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared" (Mark 10:38-40).
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matt. 3:10-12).
Taiwan's very own downmarket Dr. Fauci, Health Minister Chen "Trust Me I'm a Dentist" Shih-chung, models the latest in mouthwear fashion -- a sexy new black satin face mask with a daring heart-shaped cutout!
Ah, I stand corrected. This is actually a special persons-with-disabilities mask, worn out of consideration for those who are both hard-of-hearing and illiterate and also don't understand sign language. There's some intersectionality for you!
Of course, according to Tooth Fairy Chen's own rules, it's okay to just not wear a mask when giving a speech or appearing on television (germs being notoriously camera-shy), but where's the fun in that?
As for the question I asked in the title, the answer is:
You know, if I were a down-on-my-luck dentist reduced from filling cavities to doing daily panic-update propaganda pieces for the government to keep everyone scared, I don't think I'd be able to resist beginning every speech with, "This is not a drill. Repeat, this is not a drill."
I shouldn't always be making fun of the old son-of-a-canine, though. After all, look how well he's being doing with the birdemic these past few months.
That's right, only one birdemic death in the whole month of November! Isn't that fantastic news? I give all the credit to the Minister of Flossing and his life-saving pecks. Just think how many lives might have been needlessly lost without them!
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
In my November 23 Magician's Table post "Four rams' heads," I discussed Amun in his character as Zeus Ammon and particularly as the four-headed Ram of Mendes (Banebdjedet), and I mentioned ancient coins that depicted a horned Alexander.
Alexander the Great, a prototype of the "emperor" figure, was supposed to be the son of Zeus Ammon, and ancient coins depict him with ram's horns. (The personage called the "two-horned man" in the Quran is generally believed to be Alexander.)
On November 26, Chris Knowles at The Secret Sun (who I'm pretty sure does not read my blogs) posted "He Walks Ammon Us: Egypt's Restoration Ritual at Luxor," writing that
the big daddy of the gods is Amun, AKA Jupiter Ammon, AKA Banebdjedet, AKA Baphomet, AKA you name it. All the same thing, really: the Horned and Hidden God of kings and conquerors.
If you're wondering about the Baphomet connection, the modern goat-headed Baphomet figure (as opposed with the severed head supposedly worshiped by the Templars) was invented by Éliphas Lévi and associated by him with the "Goat of Mendes" -- i.e., Herodotus's distorted account of Banebdjedet, who was properly the Ram of Mendes. Knowles goes on to mention Alexander as the "two-horned man" of the Quran, and then he offers this interpretation of "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon."
This is another one of those hiding-in-plain-sight kind of deals that eluded scholars looking for something more contrived. But it's very simple: Jupiter Ammon was on all the coinage that Jesus and the Apostles would have been familiar with. It was rendered "Mammon" as was typical of the transliteration of the time.
Well, no, I don't think adding a random M to the beginning was "typical of the transliteration of the time." Nor is it true that "Jupiter Ammon was on all the coinage" in Jesus' time. When Jesus held up a Roman denarius and asked, "Whose is this image and superscription?" they answered, "Caesar's." I have looked at many pictures of denarii from the reign of Tiberius, but none of them feature the horns of Ammon. But even if some of them did have horns, it's pretty clear that Jesus and his contemporaries thought of the bloke on the coins as "Caesar," not "(M)ammon."
In my post "John, the Bear Witness," I connected John the Baptist with the Great Bear constellation and mentioned that pun I used as a title: It is said in the Fourth Gospel that John came "to bear witness." The Greek word for "bear witness" is marturese (whence martyr), and it occurred to me that if you dropped the initial letter, it looked a lot like Arthur or Arcturus ("bear" names both) -- but the connection is a stretch even by my standards, so I didn't mention it in the post. Later I find Knowles doing exactly the same thing, even the same letter.
Actually, come to think of it, Arabic at least does form words by prefixing m- to a root (Muslim from Islam, maktab from kataba, etc.). Is there anything similar in Hebrew or Aramaic? (A pseudo-example from English would be meat, originally meaning "food," from eat.)
After writing part of this post, I had to go to work. While on the road, I was thinking about the idea of a horned god and how it contrasted with the Elizabethan use of horns as a symbol of cuckoldry and a mark of shame. I remembered how back in 2020 Francis Berger had posted a photo of himself sitting in front of a deer-antler trophy so that he appeared to have antlers coming out of his head, and how I had commented about the Elizabethan meaning of such. This led me to thinking about the white stag and how Frank had adopted it as a sort of personal symbol.
Just then I turned a corner and saw that a new billboard had been put up -- showing an enormous white stag with a crow or raven perched on either antler. So, that was weird.
Looking up Frank's old post now, I find (which I had not remembered!) that in the comments we even talk about rams' horns, Jupiter Ammon, and Alexander the Great.
Note added Dec. 2: I asked one of my staff to put something Christmassy on the small blackboard in front of our school. I didn't say anything more specific than that, but by chance she decided to make a drawing centered on a large white pair of antlers.
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