Rudolph Hess really was prisoner “Spandau #7”

Ever since Rudolph Hess (Deputy Führer of Nazi Germany) flew to the UK in 1941 (supposedly to negotiate peace on his own), there have been questions about rather Hess was really Hess. They have apparently finally been put to rest by DNA testing. A sample of the prisoner’s blood was found and the DNA compared to relatives of Hess.

Read the Article:

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Unanswerable questions

Are any of you familiar with this subject of unanswerable questions?

I’m sure I came across it mentioned in some thread or other, not too long ago, but I couldn’t find it again using the keyword search.  I’m (almost) sure whoever mentioned it spoke about how these unanswerable questions are utilised in some religious traditions, and possibly other areas (like maybe therapy – but I can’t recall exactly).  Anyway…

I speculated that maybe these questions were along the lines of ones I’d read started to be used in job interviews these days (apparently), such as “How do you fit a giraffe in a refrigerator?”

But an internet search (albeit only a brief one) came up with sites listing various trivial questions, most of which aren’t strictly unanswerable at all.  Such as the following:-
1. Why does a round pizza come in a square box?
2. Why is it said that an alarm clock is going off when really it’s coming on?
3. How come people tell you not to stand in front of an emergency exit when if there was an emergency surely you would run through it?
4. Why did Sally sell seashells on the seashore when you can just pick them up anyway?
5. Why are both of Spongebob’s parents round like sea sponges while he is square like a kitchen sponge?
(Above the first 5 from a list on a site called chartcons in an item called ‘100 Unanswerable Questions That Will Blow Your Mind’.)

So, I’d be interested to hear from anyone who’s familiar with this topic of unanswerable questions, and I’d also be interested to hear any examples anyone’s got of specific unanswerable questions…

Thanks in advance!  :)

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On Reconstructing the Entirely Pagan Version of Celtic Mythology

I’ve been thinking about this for a while and considering and I’ve often wanted to rewrite the key “texts” of Celtic mythology to at least in spirit reflect the original pagan form. I have a few key points which I think would open up a world of new insight if people simply took them into consideration. I do want others to share possible elements that can obviously be linked to common threads in Indo-European mythologies that shed light on the mythology and beliefs of the Celtic peoples.

Observation 1: it’s pretty well known that the “older Gods being overthrown by new generations” is rather common here. The fomori are clearly analogous to the Jotun and or Titans, furthering this links is that Chronus being overthrown by one of his descendants is very similar to Lugh overthrowing Balor as he is actually a descendant of Balor. Thirdly, folklore and common sayings such as describing storms as being Lugh and Balor fighting suggests that Lugh among other common attributes associated with other sky Gods such as Zeus and Jupiter (justice, oaths, and so forth) further seem to suggest this. However, Lugh’s associations also bare a similarity to Odin. This also suggests a long suspected, but as far as I can tell not outright stated link between Odin and the sky. However, that last part is obviously more speculative.

Observation the 2nd: Cuchulainn is the descendant of Lugh which among other aspects of his legend suggests a possible and very likely mythological link between him and Heracles/Hercules. Those being that they are fierce, inhumanly powerful warriors descended from the chief God who appears to be a sky God.

Observation the third: At least based on their attributes and associations there seems at least to my mind to be a link between Epona and Macha. They are both associated with horses, the land, and fertility which may also suggest a link between these two and Demeter who is also associated with at least two of these.

Observation the fourth: The link between Morrigna/The Morrigan. prophecy, the number 3, and fate may or may not be connected to the three fates who also appear in Norse, Greek, and Roman religion, thus it would make sense, given that the ancient Celtic religions were often heavy with symbolism connected to the number 3. Not to mention that this seems to be a common motif in Indo-European Pagan religions.

Observation the fifth: It seems that given the associations between land Goddesses and sovereignty, it seems likely that the leadership of chieftains was linked to the favor of Divine forces connected with nature. This is also not uncommon in a number of different religions.Some have theorized that misfortunes that befell entire clans or tribes may have been linked to the misdeeds of their cheiftains/kings and thus led to their ritualistic killing as a penalty for their failure and a means to restore the balance. How much evidence that can be at least deemed solid by scholars dedicated to the understanding of Celtic culture  in the most objective possible light, I do not know.

Observation the sixth; Brigid and Goibiniu have some rather obvious parallels between Vulcan and Hephaestus and Hestia and Vesta given they are both associated with fire and one in particular with smithing, so while they may not be exact copies… WHY DO PEOPLE NEVER MENTION THIS?! I mean this isn’t exactly an uncommon motif in Indo-European religions and mythologies. Even if you can argue there isn’t much directly written about them, the fact that they are both Deities linked with fire and one is foremost associated with blacksmiths should be pretty obvious.

Observation the Seventh or rather a question: Why the hell does no one write at least an annotated version of these stories with at least some of these as footnotes?

I do apologize for ranting a bit, but does anyone else have any really obvious insights people don’t seem to bring up as much as they should or at all? There’s probably more I could say here, but mostly I just wanted to start a thread that will at least possibly help develop a more accurate understanding of what the original forms of the myths and the accompanying religion were like in their heyday. So feel free to discuss, critique, or share.

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Are these things ‘bad’? Also just seeking advice

Hello all,
Everyone was so nice and so helpful last time I posted so when I came to some hitches with my practice I figured this was the place to go. I’m just going to kind of conglomerate all my questions

-When you pray to your dieties (if you do so) what’s your dialogue like? Like, do you speak out loud? Speak casually like you would to a friend, or very formally? Do you recite prayers written by others for them? Do you sit in silence and say nothing at all?
I suppose I’m always worried that I’m praying ‘wrong’. I’m very awkward all the time.

-Is it bad that I’m excitedly bookmarking things I’d like to eventually add to my altar? I know the important thing is connecting with the gods and not any material things, but I’m a very tangible and visual person- I feel like I’m offering the most when I add things to the altar, caring for it, etc. I’d like to someday have a beautiful and full altar, though I worry that me being so focused on that material aspect is a bad thing, spiritually.

-Do you think using modernized representations of the gods in statues and pictures for altars is bad? I know sone only use imGes from original cultures but especially with Egyptian art I have a hard time connecting with it, as opposed to more modernized depictions with I suppose more dimension to them. Not sexualized or fantasized, just not in traditional Egyptian style.

-this ones random; what’s the consensus of getting a tattoo of a god or representing them? Is that considered disrespectful or as a tribute to your worship? I’m a huge body art person and it’s something I’d like to do one day if it’s not a bad thing to do.

Thank you all for any answers you may have  :)

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Religious Choice

I am a Religious Pluralist and a strong believer in Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Thought, and Religious Choice. That said, I wonder how much of our religious views are chosen by us versus being inherited culturally through social conditioning? I am curious about the tension between beliefs that we are raised with versus those that we choose as adults. Can we ever fully escape how we were raised? Do we really have full freedom of choice? 

I was recently reflecting on my own internal biases. I consider myself a Progressive, politically, and to a lesser degree culturally. But I had to question myself when someone recently assumed I was a Conservative. I was raised Catholic, and I think it has been hard for me to escape the implications of my upbringing. Even when I was a practicing Catholic, I always thought of myself as a more Liberal Catholic, educated mainly by Catholic Nuns and Catholic Lay Women who came out of the Vatican II Era.

So, amongst other Catholics, I tended to be viewed as Liberal. I could see this in contrast to other Catholics I have known who were more explicitly Conservative, like some of my Cousins, for example. Yet it has occurred to me that people who were “outside” of my Catholic Culture might see me as more Conservative than I view myself. This is not how I would choose to be viewed, but is how some others might have perceived me to be.

Anyway, it made me think that while I view myself as a Progressive who asserts Religious Freedom, I might still have something of a “shadow” Conservative streak that I have been trying to overcome for quite sometime. I wonder if anyone has had a similar experience yet was able to “escape” an early upbringing. I wonder how well people have been able to embrace a Religion that they chose versus the one that they were raised with. I expect that this is a common experience for many people. I am hoping maybe to hear stories about how people have been free to choose their own Religious views. I am open to any type of discussion on this, though   

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The larger Pagan communities

I’m about to do the class on Pagan history and community history for my current witchy students, which got me thinking about how to structure that.

What parts of Pagan community history do you think are really important to know about early on? Which ones bogged you down? (Or still confuse you?) What things did you wish someone had explained (or explained earlier than you learned them?)

And new since the last time I taught any of this explicitly, I want to include a solid segment on abuse in communities, things to be aware of in a specifically Pagan context (i.e. dealing with festival or skyclad situations, etc.) If you have resources you particularly like for this, or things you wish someone had mentioned to you, please do include them here.

(A note: they’re pre-initiation, and the classes in this sequence are designed to give context and help them make informed choices about next steps, not make them experts in the topic. Basically, 2 hours of class time with discussion and some additional links is where I’m aiming. I also expect to turn my notes from this one into an article or two on Seeking.)

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Hi all I’m Mea

Hi everyone,
I am and Italian hereditary who has woven quite a bit from other sects and teachings into my own personal belief system over my 40+ years in this lifetime. I lost my teachers at a young age, and was schooled Catholic. It did not go over well when I kept insisting if Mary was not God than they were at the least equals.
I kept her as my Goddess and I took the Saints with me too, but that’s about it. Although I openly admit to enjoying mass every once in a while, as much as it’s denied to me it is ceremonial magick and the place I first learned about ritual…such as circling with incense.
I stopped trying to define what system I fit into years ago and just take what speaks to my gut.

I really love learning about and from others and expanding my consciousness, I lurked for a just a few moments before seeing this might be a place I can fit in. I live a pretty solitary life in the mountains now (and relish in it tbh ) but I was born and raised in NYC.

My preferred method of divination is tarot, current fav deck is Tarot Mucha, I am a Leo with a Scorpio rising and my moon in Taurus. I love weaving with herbs and oils. I collect crystals and use them on my various altars but do not work with them as much as I would like/should/want. I am a strong believer in I am the only tool I need.

Looking forward to exchanging ideas and the like – I hope everyone has a magickal day.

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Daily/Weekly Routines as a Hellene or Hellenic Pagan

As of late, I’ve been doing more and more research into hellenic polytheism, and recently finished Hellenic Polytheism: Household Worship by LABRYS. This pushed me to look on the new and old boards of TC for what others do in terms of daily and weekly routines. I have seen the article for the complete morning and evening prayers for Hellenic pagans, as well as the short version. While I’d love to do these… I can already tell that I wouldn’t be able to do so due to my schedule as a teacher (up at 5, Gym at 5:30, go to work at 6:45, and then work from 7:45 to 4 PM… bed by 9 PM).

I’m curious: as a Hellenic pagan, what do you daily with the Olympian Deities? What do you do weekly with them?

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Struggling with Belief of all kinds

Hello, I’m new here on this forum so please bear with me

I’ve dabbled in different religions all my life. I was raised Christian, spent plenty of time as an atheist, and have had some pagan practices earlier in my life as well. However, I’ve always struggled with actually believing in something (atheism excluded of course because it is simply a lack of belief). I fell out of Christianity for my personal issues with some of its teachings from a moral perspective, and out of paganism because I just couldn’t get over the fact that I couldn’t find any hard scientific proof to back any of my practices.

What I struggled with, though, was enjoying being pagan. I liked the stronger connection to nature and to my own thoughts it gave me, and how it encouraged me to learn and work with my hands. I really wanted a deeper connection with some god (I never got as far as deciding on a pantheon or specific god/ess to devote myself to) but I just couldn’t believe they were real. It doesn’t make sense to me that there was some supernatural force specially devoted to humans or this planet or even this plane of existence as we know it. I just really want to believe in something, to have something to anchor my thoughts and practices in.

I am wondering if anyone else has experienced something similar, or how others rationalize scientific facts with spirituality, in any ways that personally satisfy them. I wonder if I am being childish in wanting to believe something instead of only relying on hard “scientific facts” to guide me, as I have before.

I also want to emphasize that I do not mean the juxtaposition between science and spirituality and my personal struggle with it to be offensive to anybody’s views or practices. I’m looking for personal thoughts, wisdom, any advice that someone that has been through any sort of similar struggle can give me.

Thank you.

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