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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in mask

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Mask Song

Diane Don Carlos and I wrote this song for Merrymeet 1998, the year of the first-ever official male-male Great Rite at a pagan festival. It's set to the tune of Gula Gula, a hymn to the Earth Mother by Saami singer-songwriter Mari Boine Persen.

The chant explores the depths of the mysteries of the Mask, and, ultimately, the complex and layered nature of the Self.

 

The Mask Song

 

With these eyes, what are you seeing?

With these ears, what are you hearing?

With this heart, what are you feeling?

Who are you, the mask or me?

Who are you, the mask or me?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Mysteries of the Horned Lord

The mask—and, in particular, the horned mask—is generally reckoned among the mysteries of the Horned Lord; his priest wears it to personify Him in ritual. As such, it is also accounted a men's mystery.

Why?

As is usual with the archaic, ones looks for origins to humanity's perennial preoccupation, the getting of food.

As such, the mask originated as a strategy of the hunt.

To disguise your scent and outline, you wear the head and hide of (for example) a deer. Here we see the origins of disguise generally.

It is also the origin of the personifying priesthood: pretending, in effect, to be who you are not. Disguise yourself as a deer and act like a deer, and it gives you a better chance of taking the deer that you need to feed both you and your People.

This also explains the Mask's specific (though, of course, not exclusive) association with men. Although among people who live by hunting-gathering, virtually everyone—regardless of age or sex—hunts as well as gathers, hunting is generally accounted part of the men's sphere, since hunting large animals is dangerous and (to be quite frank), in the larger life of any given society, men are more readily expendable than women.

To this day, the priest of the Horned still wears the god's horned mask at the Sabbat, and a sacred connection to our food-sources lies at the very heart of the Sabbat and everything that we do there.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    In one form or another, Tehomet, I suspect that these ethics have been around for as long as we've been hunting. They're our imme
  • tehomet
    tehomet says #
    I enjoyed this article, thank you. How old is that Charge, do you think?
In Which the Priest Answers the Inquisitive Child

Yes indeed, it was I in the mask and the paint last night; that's no secret. Everyone knows it.

But the god was there also.

Did you for a while forget that it was me, and see and hear only the god, even if just for only for a little?

You did, and that's the mystery, and the power: that if I do my work well, and you do your work well, then sometimes, for a little, the god will consent to cast his shadow over his priest, so that in this way he may speak, and dance, and sense.

And you too may see him then, and speak with him, and dance with him.

Why does he consent to do this? He does it because we are his people, and he loves us.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Mask

And there's the mystery:

that down the long years

all manner of men have worn it,

yet somehow, in the end,

it's always him.

 

They say,

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Ooser

Ooser (“Rhymes with bosser, not boozer,” I always tell people) is a term from what Sybil Leek would call the Language of Witchcraft. It denotes a carved and horned wooden head-mask of the God of Witches.

It's a dialectal word, of unclear etymology. Doreen Valiente suggests an origin from ós, the Old English cognate of Old Norse áss, “god,” better known to English-speakers in its plural form aesir. An ooser, then, would be a “god-er,” which, since it bears the god and is worn by his personifier at the sabbat, makes sound theological (if not etymological) sense.

The famous and mysterious Dorset Ooser is the best-known example. Also known, from its bull-horns, as the “Yule Bull,” it frightened generations of Dorset children until it was stolen from its hereditary keeper in 1897 and never recovered. Old Craft scuttlebutt would have it that it was “took” to get it out of cowan hands, and that it has since remained in ongoing, if private, use among witch-folk to this day.

Well, so they say. In its own way, it's even a true story.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I believe most people hide behind their own mask, often more than one.  I go to work and put on my work mask.  I get together with friends or family and put on the mask they expect.  I have another for strangers - my too polite mask.  

Masks are needed in our world.  If you wear your heart on your sleeve or go without a public mask, you're in for a rough ride in our harsh world.  Masks can offer protection and comfort.  I know when I'm with certain people we will banter and tease.  I know when I'm at work, I put on another mask of polite efficiency when sometimes I just want to stay home and write.  

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