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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in idolatry

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Idols and Idols

They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.

So wrote an anonymous Hebrew poet, probably in the 7th c. BCE, speaking of what he would have called 'elilim, “idols.”

Of course he misses the point.

As anyone who actually lives with idols (for want of a better word) can tell you, they actually do speak and they do see; their interaction with their—um, worshipers—is subtle but undeniable. But perhaps that's a little too conceptually non-literal for your average dyspeptic 7th century Yahwist.

Likewise beyond his comprehension was the fact that the idol's obvious limitations are precisely part of the shining truth that it embodies.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

You could say idolatry is in my blood.

I was raised Catholic, which included attending Catholic school from kindergarten through freshman year of high school, and mass every week (plus the high holy days). Which meant I spent a lot of time studying the art and architecture of the churches we attended – my grandparents' church in South Philadelphia, the incredibly ornate from floor to ceiling St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi (the first Italian parish in the US) to our home base St. Charles Borromeo in South Jersey which was very mid-century modern, clean yet with very colorful, large stained glass windows.

Growing up in an environment where Catholicism was the majority, I wasn't exactly prepared at age when we moved to South Carolina (3% Catholic at the time), and discovered that Protestants considered Catholics idol-worshipers and not “true Christians.”

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    In one of the Seth books by Jane Roberts; sorry I don't remember which one, it is said that Art is the expression and exploration
  • Laura Tempest Zakroff
    Laura Tempest Zakroff says #
    Haven't read the Seth books, but I could definitely see truth in that statement on several levels. As for art is received/viewed

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Technology of Idolatry

From the spiritual technology of the ancestors, let us consider the hallows—in Latin, the sacra—those holy objects of presence, in which a god is. If the work of religion is the making-present of the gods, this work the hallows accomplish, for the hallows are points of communication, articulating radical immanence. The genius of the paganisms has always been to understand that we best touch the universal through the specific.

To say “idol” implies a statue, but hallows take many forms.

One thing to remember about hallows is that in them, by them, through them, we look upon a god.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've read of people feeling the eyes of the other world looking at them through icons. In his book Psionic Power Charles Cosimano

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

It was my first time in a Hindu temple.

Five in the morning: quiet, dark. We're standing together facing the altar curtains, which are closed. Drums begin to play. Slowly the rhythm builds. Soon we're clapping and swaying. When the energy peaks, conch shells blow; the room echoes with them. We throw ourselves to the floor.

When we stand back up, the altar curtains have opened. The altar itself, three marble steps covered with lights, flowers, and food offerings, is sumptuous and brightly lit. But all our eyes are on the gods.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Jeremiah Myer
    Jeremiah Myer says #
    beautiful thank you and Hail Green God!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Paganicon 2014 will open this year with the (in)famous Rite of the Golden Calf.

The Rite was first created for a private festival in 1996 by Twin Cities liturgist Steven Posch. He recalls: “I'll never forget the faces as the procession with the Calf came through. At first, incredulity: Is this for real? Then dawning: This is it: the big one, the sin of sins. And then, abandon: Ohmigods, lemme at it! And they all came rushing in. It was wild, ecstatic: there were actually couples off in the woods afterward, just the way there should be.”

During the Rite, the Calf will be borne in festive Procession and Installed in a shrine in the Art Gallery. He will be accessible for acts of private devotion during Gallery Hours. A brief rite of public worship will take place daily at 12 noon.

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