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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Nine Measures of Weirdness

There's an old song from Roman-age Judea that's cited in both the Talmud and Robert Graves' classic novel of Goddess revisionist history, King Jesus, called “Ten Measures of Wisdom.”

It goes like this:

Ten measures of Wisdom

were given to the world:

Israel took nine,

the rest took one.

 

So it continues through the various nations of the world:

 

Ten measures of Lechery

were given to the world:

Arabia took nine,

the rest took one.

 

Ten measures of Sovereignty

were given to the world:

Rome took nine,

the rest took one.

 

Ah, fun with stereotypes. My personal favorite:

 

Ten measures of Magic

were given to the world:

Egypt took nine,

the rest took one.

 

Now, I don't know how long you've been around the pagan community. But let me ask you something.

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Murray Revisited, or Throwing Out the Baby with the Broth Water

Yeah, yeah, I've read the books, I've heard the arguments, I know all about flawed methodology and bogus historiography. Who takes Murray seriously these days, anyway?

An important element is missing here. People believed Murray's theories for years because they're convincing. They have the ring of likeliness to them.

OK, here we are, medieval peasants. Life is hard. We work our butts off sun-up to sun-down nearly every day, and in a good year we raise enough to get us through to the next harvest. Often enough, we don't, and then we starve. Even in good years, the seigneur and the priest have automatic authority over pretty much every aspect of our lives.

We grew up hearing fireside stories, half-remembered, about the Old Ways and the Guy with the Horns. Yeah, I know Father Guillemet says he's bad, but the priest doesn't know everything, anyone can see that. He's a priest, what does he know about real life?

What is more likely than that on the old days you'd go off to the bonfire in the woods, get drunk, dance and screw your neighbor's wife (or husband) in the bushes? Pleasure is rare enough in life, and you have to take it when you can get it. And part of the fun is poking fun at Authority, especially Authority—like the church—about which you really can't help but feel a certain amount of ambivalence. Mix bits and pieces of decayed paganism with the only rituals that you know—those of the church—and voilà: spontaneous folk-diabolism.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Amen!
  • Sylvie Kaos
    Sylvie Kaos says #
    My sentiments exactly!

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