Sukhi’s sculptures are intended to bridge the cultures of East and West. Embodying the peace and compositional balance of ancient devotional art, they represent complex philosophical ideas with a simplicity and clarity that renders them accessible to the Western viewer. Exploring themes of hidden potentials, and the transcendence of our limiting view of a solid reality, her work often represents the negative space as being as important as the material itself, implying the dance of form and spirit, a constant state of transformation.
I AM A CREATIONIST…….
I BELIEVE MAN CREATED GOD
“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
— Charles Bukowski
Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead
— Charles Bukowski
War, the dark cloud that covers the sun;
peace is the ray which breaks through the cloud.
There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.
Ostara, Goddess of Spring and the Dawn (Oestre / Eastre)
Easter is named for a Saxon goddess who was known by the names of Oestre or Eastre, and in Germany by the name of Ostara. She is a goddess of the dawn and the spring, and her name derives from words for dawn, the shining light arising from the east. Our words for the “female hormone” estrogen derives from her name.
Ostara was, of course, a fertility goddess. Bringing in the end of winter, with the days brighter and growing longer after the vernal equinox, Ostara had a passion for new life. Her presence was felt in the flowering of plants and the birth of babies, both animal and human. The rabbit (well known for its propensity for rapid reproduction) was her sacred animal.
Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny both featured in the spring festivals of Ostara, which were initially held during the feasts of the goddess Ishtar | Inanna. Eggs are an obvious symbol of fertility, and the newborn chicks an adorable representation of new growth. Brightly colored eggs, chicks, and bunnies were all used at festival time to express appreciation for Ostara’s gift of abundance.
The history of Easter Eggs as a symbol of new life should come as no surprise. The notion that the Earth itself was hatched from an egg was once widespread and appears in creation stories ranging from Asian to Ireland.
Eggs, in ancient times in Northern Europe, were a potent symbol of fertility and often used in rituals to guarantee a woman’s ability to bear children. To this day rural “grannywomen” (lay midwives/healers in the Appalachian mountains) still use eggs to predict, with uncanny accuracy, the sex of an unborn child by watching the rotation of an egg as it is suspended by a string over the abdomen of a pregnant woman.
Dyed eggs are given as gifts in many cultures. Decorated eggs bring with them a wish for the prosperity of the abundance during the coming year.
Folklore suggests that Easter egg hunts arose in Europe during “the Burning Times”, when the rise of Christianity led to the shunning (and persecution) of the followers of the “Old Religion”. Instead of giving the eggs as gifts the adults made a game of hiding them, gathering the children together and encouraging them to find the eggs. Some believe that the authorities seeking to find the “heathens” would follow or bribe the children to reveal where they found the eggs so that the property owner could be brought to justice.
Green Eggs . . .
. . . and Ham???
The meat that is traditionally associated with Easter is ham. Though some might argue that ham is served at Easter since it is a “Christian” meat, (prohibited for others by the religious laws of Judaism and Islam) the origin probably lies in the early practices of the pagans of Northern Europe.
Having slaughtered and preserved the meat of their agricultural animals during the Blood Moon celebrations the previous autumn so they would have food throughout the winter months, they would celebrate the occasion by using up the last of the remaining cured meats.
In anticipation that the arrival of spring with its emerging plants and wildlife would provide them with fresh food in abundance, it was customary for many pagans to begin fasting at the time of the vernal equinox, clearing the “poisons” (and excess weight) produced by the heavier winter meals that had been stored in their bodies over the winter. Some have suggested that the purpose of this fasting may have been to create a sought-after state of “altered consciousness” in time for the spring festivals. One cannot but wonder if this practice of fasting might have been a forerunner of “giving up” foods during the Lenten season.
Chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs, marshmallow chicks in pastel colors, and candy of all sorts . . . these have pagan origins as well! To understand their association with religion we need to examine the meaning of food as a symbol.
The ancient belief that, by eating something we take on its characteristics formed the basis for the earliest “blessings” before meals (a way to honor the life that had been sacrificed so that we as humans could enjoy life) and, presumably, for the more recent Christian sacrament of communion as well.
Shaping candy Easter eggs and bunnies out of candy to celebrate the spring festival was, simply put, a way to celebrate the symbols of the goddess and the season, while laying claim to their strengths (vitality, growth, and fertility) for ourselves.
The Goddess Ostara and the Easter Bunny
Feeling guilty about arriving late one spring, the Goddess Ostara saved the life of a poor bird whose wings had been frozen by the snow. She made him her pet or, as some versions have it, her lover. Filled with compassion for him since he could no longer fly (in some versions, it was because she wished to amuse a group of young children), Ostara turned him into a snow hare and gave him the gift of being able to run with incredible speed so he could protect himself from hunters.
In remembrance of his earlier form as a bird, she also gave him the ability to lay eggs (in all the colors of the rainbow, no less), but only on one day out of each year.
Eventually the hare managed to anger the goddess Ostara, and she cast him into the skies where he would remain as the constellation Lepus (The Hare) forever positioned under the feet of the constellation Orion (the Hunter). He was allowed to return to earth once each year, but only to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring. The tradition of the Easter Bunny had begun.
Easter Bunny had begun.
The Hare was sacred in many ancient traditions and was associated with the moon goddesses and the various deities of the hunt. In ancient times eating the Hare was prohibited except at Beltane (Celts) and the festival of Ostara (Anglo-Saxons), when a ritual hare-hunt would take place.
In many cultures rabbits, like eggs, were considered to be potent remedies for fertility problems. The ancient philosopher-physician Pliny the Elder prescribed rabbit meat as a cure for female sterility, and in some cultures the genitals of a hare were carried to avert barrenness.
Medieval Christians considered the hare to bring bad fortune, saying witches changed into rabbits in order to suck the cows dry. It was claimed that a witch could only be killed by a silver crucifix or a bullet when she appeared as a hare.
Given their “mad” leaping and boxing displays during mating season as well as their ability to produce up to 42 offspring each spring, it is understandable that they came to represent lust, sexuality, and excess in general. Medieval Christians considered the hare to be an evil omen, believing that witches changed into rabbits in order to suck the cows dry. It was claimed that a witch could only be killed by a silver crucifix or a bullet when she appeared as a hare.
In later Christian tradition the white Hare, when depicted at the Virgin Mary’s feet, represents triumph over lust or the flesh. The rabbit’s vigilance and speed came to represent the need to flee from sin and temptation and a reminder of the swift passage of life.
And, finally, there is a sweet Christian legend about a young rabbit who, for three days, waited anxiously for his friend, Jesus, to return to the Garden of Gethsemane, not knowing what had become of him. Early on Easter morning, Jesus returned to His favorite garden and was welcomed the little rabbit. That evening when the disciples came into the garden to pray, still unaware of the resurrection, they found a clump of beautiful larkspurs, each blossom bearing the image of a rabbit in its center as a remembrance of the little creature’s hope and faith.
Ishtar, Goddess of Love, and the First Resurrection (also known as Inanna)
Ishtar, goddess of romance, procreation, and war in ancient Babylon, was also worshipped as the Sumerian goddess Inanna. One of the great goddesses, or “mother goddesses”, stories of her descent to the Underworld and the resurrection that follows are contained in the oldest writings that have ever been discovered. . . the Babylonian creation myth Enuma Elish and the story of Gilgamesh. Scholars believed that they were based on the oral mythology of the region and were recorded about 2,100 B.C.E.
The most famous of the myths of Ishtar tell of her descent into the realm of the dead to rescue her young lover, Tammuz, a Vegetation god forced to live half the year in the Underworld. Ishtar approached the gates of the Underworld, which was ruled by her twin sister Eresh-kigel, the goddess of death and infertility. She was refused admission.
Similar to the Greek myths of Demeter and Persephone that came later, during Ishtar’s absence the earth grew barren since all acts of procreation ceased while she was away. Ishtar screamed and ranted that she would break down the gates and release all of the dead to overwhelm the world and compete with the living for the remaining food unless she was allowed to enter and plead her case with her twin.
Needless to say, she won admission. But the guard, following standard protocol, refused to let her pass through the first gate unless she removed her crown. At the next gate, she had to remove her earrings, then her necklace at the next, removing her garments and proud finery until she stood humbled and naked after passing through the seventh (and last) gate.
In one version, she was held captive and died but was brought back to life when her servant sprinkled her with the “water of life”. In the more widely known version of the myth, Ishtar’s request was granted and she regained all of her attire and possessions as she slowly re-emerged through the gates of darkness.
Upon her return, Tammuz and the earth returned to life. Annual celebrations of this “Day of Joy”, were held each year around the time of the vernal equinox. These celebrations became the forerunners of the Ostara festivals that welcomed Oestre and the arrival of spring.
The beautiful egg animation below is made by a fellow deviant on DeviantArt…Visit her here … 🙂
Well as its almost easter might as well add this….Lamb head for the lamb soup for easter full view here
Today is St.Patrick’s Day..
ABOUT SAINT PATRICK Many folk ask the question ‘Why is the Shamrock the National Flower of Ireland ?’ The reason is that St. Patrick used it to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagans. Saint Patrick is believed to have been born in the late fourth century, and is often confused with Palladius, a bishop who was sent by Pope Celestine in 431 to be the first bishop to the Irish believers in Christ.
Saint Patrick was the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland who is credited with bringing christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works, the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish christians. Saint Patrick described himself as a “most humble-minded man, pouring forth a continuous paean of thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshipped idols and unclean things had become the people of God.”
Saint Patrick is most known for driving the snakes from Ireland. It is true there are no snakes in Ireland, but there probably never have been – the island was separated from the rest of the continent at the end of the Ice Age. As in many old pagan religions, serpent symbols were common and often worshipped. Driving the snakes from Ireland was probably symbolic of putting an end to that pagan practice. While not the first to bring christianity to Ireland, it is Patrick who is said to have encountered the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan rites. The story holds that he converted the warrior chiefs and princes, baptizing them and thousands of their subjects in the “Holy Wells” that still bear this name.
There are several accounts of Saint Patrick’s death. One says that Patrick died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, on March 17, 460 A.D. His jawbone was preserved in a silver shrine and was often requested in times of childbirth, epileptic fits, and as a preservative against the “evil eye.” Another account says that St. Patrick ended his days at Glastonbury, England and was buried there. The Chapel of St. Patrick still exists as part of Glastonbury Abbey. Today, many Catholic places of worship all around the world are named after St. Patrick, including cathedrals in New York and Dublin city
Why Saint Patrick’s Day?
Saint Patrick’s Day has come to be associated with everything Irish: anything green and gold, shamrocks and luck. Most importantly, to those who celebrate its intended meaning, St. Patrick’s Day is a traditional day for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide.
So, why is it celebrated on March 17th? One theory is that that is the day that St. Patrick died. Since the holiday began in Ireland, it is believed that as the Irish spread out around the world, they took with them their history and celebrations. The biggest observance of all is, of course, in Ireland. With the exception of restaurants and pubs, almost all businesses close on March 17th. Being a religious holiday as well, many Irish attend mass, where March 17th is the traditional day for offering prayers for missionaries worldwide before the serious celebrating begins.
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live.
Always remember to forget
The things that made you sad.
But never forget to remember
The things that made you glad.
Always remember to forget
The friends that proved untrue.
But never forget to remember
Those that have stuck by you.
Always remember to forget
The troubles that passed away.
But never forget to remember
The blessings that come each day.
May the saddest day of your future be no worse
Than the happiest day of your past.
May the roof above us never fall in.
And may the friends gathered below it never fall out.
May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door.
May there be a generation of children
On the children of your children.
May you live to be a hundred years,
With one extra year to repent!
May the Lord keep you in His hand
And never close His fist too tight.
May your neighbors respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.
May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.
May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light,
May good luck pursue you each morning and night.
Walls for the wind,
And a roof for the rain,
And drinks beside the fire –
Laughter to cheer you
And those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire!
May God grant you many years to live,
For sure He must be knowing
The earth has angels all too few
And heaven is overflowing.
May peace and plenty be the first
To lift the latch to your door,
And happiness be guided to your home
By the candle of Christmas.
May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
The above photos are by me and can be found in my Ireland gallery here
Now here is an old drinking song we used to sing in the pubs…not only today the 17th
(also when a brit came in ) 🙂
And these are for some old friends..
FROM THE PAGE :
The Rosary, a long formulaic concatenation of various prayers, is the go-to prayer for Catholics in need. It’s not my intent to mock or demean it in any way but, honestly, I find it a bit tedious. It’s a process simply begging to be automated.
Visit the artists website here
I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.
I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I’ve been circling for thousands of years
and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?
~ Ranier Maria Rilke ~
In Aztec mythology, Itzpapalotl (“Clawed Butterfly” or “Obsidian Butterfly”) was a fearsome skeletal warrior goddess, who ruled over the paradise world of Tamoanchan, the paradise of victims of infant mortality and place identified where humans were created. She is the mother of Mixcoatl and is particularly associated with the moth Rothschildia orizaba from the family Saturniidae. Some of her associations include birds and fire. Her nahualli was a deer.
Itzpapalotl’s name can either mean “obsidian butterfly” or “clawed butterfly”, the latter meaning seems most likely. It’s quite possible that clawed butterfly refers to the bat and in some instances Itzpapalotl is depicted with bat wings. However, she can also appear with clear butterfly or eagle attributes. Her wings are obsidian or tecpatl (flint) knife tipped. (In the Manuscript of 1558, Itzpapalotl is described as having “blossomed into the white flint, and they took the white and wrapped it in a bundle.”) She could appear in the form of a beautiful, seductive woman or terrible goddess with a skeletal head and butterfly wings supplied with stone blades. Although the identity remains inconclusive, the Zapotec deity named Goddess 2J by Alfonso Caso and Ignacio Bernal may be a Classic Zapotec form of Itzpapalotl. In many instances Goddess 2J, whose image is found on ceramic urns, is identified with bats. “In folklore, bats are sometimes called “black butterflies””.
Itzpapalotl is the patron of the day Cozcuauhtli and Trecena 1 House in the Aztec calendar. The Trecena 1 House is one of the five western trecena dates dedicated to the cihuateteo, or women who had died in childbirth. Not only was Itzpapalotl considered one of the cihuateteo herself, but she was also one of the tzitzimime, star demons that threatened to devour people during solar eclipses.
As the legend goes, Itzpapalotl fell from heaven along with Tzitzimime and several other shapes such as scorpions and toads. Itzpapalotl wore an invisible cloak so that no one could see her. At some times, she was said to have dressed up like a lady of the Mexican Court, caking her face with white powder and lining her cheeks with strips of rubber. Her fingers tapered into the claws of a jaguar, and her toes into eagle’s claws.
According to the Manuscript of 1558, section VII, Itzpapalotl was one of two divine 2-headed doe-deers (the other one being Chimalman) who temporarily transformed themselves into women in order to seduce men. Itzpapalotl approached the two “cloud serpents named Xiuhnel and Mimich”, who transformed themselves into men (so as to disguise themselves when all the others of the Centzonmimixcoa had been slain in the ambush?). To Xiuhnel, Itzpapalotl said “”Drink, Xiuhnel.” Xiuhnel drank the blood (menstrual?) and then immediately lay down with her. Suddenly she … devoured him, tore open his breast. … Then Mimich … ran and … descended into a thorny barrel cactus, fell into it, and the woman fell down after him.
Everywhere in the world The Holy Potato pops up from time to time…Today it appeared here in Bucharest,Romania ..see photo by me above and below…
Full view here to see the scabby texture... 🙂
All over the world the religous and superstitious flocks see signs and miracles in ordinary everyday objects like the potato, the reason for the cross or any shape is dry or wet rot, read detailed information here
Here are two more photos now from America….
There is a big chance that it will end up with the priest here….God bless us…
No…I am not religous..far from that…
Here is interesting information though about the potato and religion in the Andes ;
There are plants that over time have taken on profound ritual significance for humankind. The potato is one of them. Anthropologist Luis Millones, an expert on the beliefs and customs of Andean peoples, explores the world of magic and myth associated with this crop in the Andes.
The potato plays a central role in the myths and rituals that define the Andean vision of the world. In their conception of the universe, potatoes inhabit the Uku Pacha, or inner world, a place of seeds and corpses, of future and past, as opposed to the Kay Pacha, or the world of the present. This idea dates back to before the time of the Incas, who adopted the beliefs of the people they conquered.
Centuries before the rise of the Incas, the Moche culture (AD 100-600) flourished on Peru’s north coast. Moche pottery often portrayed fruits and vegetables. One outstanding example, on display in Lima’s National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History, is a ceramic vessel resembling a potato. The link that the Moche saw between the potato and the supernatural world is evident in this piece in which figures of human beings and animals appear to sprout from the potato’s eyes. This Moche pot could be interpreted as a portrayal of the birth of living beings (the first humans, the first llamas, etc.) from the paqarinas (places of origin), where contact could be made with the Uku Pacha, the realm of the potato. In the most widely told myths of the origin of Tahuantinsuyo, as the Incas referred to their empire, the children of the sun god Inti, Manco Cápac and Mama Ocllo, emerged from the waters of Lake Titicaca. Another fable tells of the mythical Ayar brothers who sprang forth from the cave of Tampu Tuqu, near Cusco.
An interesting manifestation of the potato’s prominence in Andean myth and ritual is seen in the tradition of the illas, objects that evoke the primordial shapes of animals or plants. In Bolivia, researchers recorded that, “a potato illa [is] a stone that looks just like the potato itself, and it is thought that this illa helps the potato harvest” (Arnold and Yapita, 1996). According to the Aimara campesina Cipriana Apaza Mamani, when the condor, a sacred bird, flew down from Mount Illampu in Bolivia, the potato plant appeared for the first time in the community of Chukiñaspi. There, it flourished in a fertile area called Wilaspaya (the land of the red earth), known since time immemorial for its stones shaped like potatoes.
In all ancient civilizations, people believed that they could control supernatural beings through the proper use of rituals. Ceremony is the food of the gods, and each part of a ceremony – a dance step, a coca leaf chewed or burnt as an offering – must be carried out according to age-old traditional prescriptions. There are records of specific ritual practices for the potato. The chronicler Pérez Bocanegra (1631) records that the roots of the plant were tied together with straw, “with many knots and bundles.” This was done during fasting, and it is said that the potato effigy also fasted, thereby reinforcing the commitment to abstinence of the person complying with the magic ritual. This practice alarmed the Spanish clergy, determined to put an end to idolatry.
The idea that penitence existed among non-Christian peoples raised the specter of demons, because the clergy believed that the Devil acted alongside all that was divine and mimicked God’s acts. Indeed, Pérez Bocanegra mentions the potato ritual in his thick tome dedicated to, “administering the natives of this kingdom.” Today, in Peru’s Ayacucho region, peasant farmers make simple offerings to the gods on All Souls’ Day (1 November). In a ceremony callxed aya uma tarpuy (sowing the head of the dead), a few coca leaves, llama fat and chicha are buried in the ground together with a seed potato in the hope that Pachamama, Mother Earth, will grant a bountiful harvest the following year. The name of the ceremony refers to the belief that the head can regenerate the body.
In other parts of the Peruvian highlands, people celebrate potato rituals in different ways. Farmers, particularly in the northern highlands (Callejón de Huaylas and part of the Callejón de Conchucos, department of Ancash) sow their fields in late August, initiating the agricultural cycle. This is a critical time of year in ceremonial terms, because it coincides with the tilling of fallow land, which disturbs the domain of Pachamama and sparks conflicts with the Uku Pacha.
During the Inca empire, unusual products of the harvest (such as twin potatoes or tubers that had grown together) were seen as good omens (Arriaga, 1968) and were regarded with reverence because people believed that they guaranteed the fertility of the fields. In colonial times, the Church fought in vain to stamp out the custom of keeping these potatoes. But this and other observances branded by the Spaniards as idolatry survived, and are still part of Peruvian folk religion.
THE POWER WITHIN
The finest observations of Andean idolatry are found in the Huarochirí tales, compiled by the priest Francisco de Ávila around 1600. Just as in the Popol Vuh of the Mayas (Recinos, 1963; Tedlock, 1966), these Huarochirí myths served as a sort of regional bible, assembling indigenous traditions that survived into colonial times (Salomon and Urioste, 1991).
One long tale at the start of Chapter Five recounts the myth of the god Huatya Curi, whose story is intimately tied to the potato. The meaning of his name is explained in the first lines of the story: “They say that fellow named Huatya Curi subsisted at the time just by baking potatoes in earth pits, eating them the way a poor man does, and people named him the Baked Potato Gleaner,” (Salomon and Urioste, 1991). The tale is a vivid account of the clashes between this god (son of the powerful god Pariacaca) and his brother-in-law who, seeing Huatya Curi dressed in rags, was reluctant to admit him as a member of the family. Huatya Curi accepted several challenges proposed by his jealous rival. First, they competed at drinking and dancing; then with clothing and adornments; then at capturing and taming pumas; and finally, at building and roofing a house as fast as possible.
Having triumphed in every contest, Huatya Curi – the potato eater – proposed the final challenge to his brother-in-law: to dance dressed in a blue kushma, or tunic, and a white huara, or loincloth. Huatya Curi waited for his rival to begin dancing. Then he entered the scene shouting, frightening his opponent and changing him into a deer. Analyzing the contest, one can see that Huatya Curi did not compete by showing himself to be a more skilled dancer, as might have been expected from a festive deity. Instead, he defeated his opponent using magic.
Huatya Curi is the personification of the potato. His power is masked by his lowly appearance, as he is covered with dirt and dressed in rags. But beneath the surface, he is full of surprises. Likewise, the potato comes from the inner world, but it is not inferior. It is characterized by the duality of the gods: they are both brilliant and obscure, but above all, they are powerful. From the intimacy of the soil, the potato speaks to its children, who in turn trust in it to maintain the balance of the worlds that make up the Andean universe.
Now let the potato rest…
Potatoes dont have faces or crosses and are not Holy