Sunday, June 30, 2013

Discovery of 600-Year-Old Lingerie Rewrites Fashion’s History

Nothing like this has ever come up before...These finds are a very exciting insight into the way people dressed in the Middle Ages... It's rare that everyday garments of any kind survive from this period, let alone underwear."
- Hilary Davidson, The Museum of London's Fashion Curator, interview with the Daily Mail

Every morning, millions of women get up and put on a bra and panties, whatever shape, style, and colour they may be. For over 100,000 years (the length of time we as people were noted to have begun wearing clothes), women questioned how to dress their breasts. Breasts, being the prominent feature of femaleness, are flexible, functional, and desirable.

From a discovery made by Universität Innsbruck archaeologists, we learn of 600-year-old lace-and-linen female underwear that predate the invention of the modern brassiere and panties by hundreds of years.

These garments were found hidden under the floorboards of Lengberg Castle in East Tyrol, Austria, along with some 2,700 textile remains and one completely preserved pair of (presumably male) linen underpants. Fibre samples from the two intact bras found were sent to the ETH (Eidgenössissche Technische Hochschule = Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in Zürich to be Carbon-14 dated. In addition, fibre samples of the pair of underpants and two other textiles were also radiocarbon-dated. Both tests confirmed the dating of the finds to be to the 15th century.

Above: Lengberg Castle, East Tyrol, Austria


There are several theories on who developed the first bra. Most believed that the original designer was either Herminie Cadolle, a corset-maker in late 18th century France, or Mary Phelps Jacob, a New York socialite who was awarded the U.S. patent in 1914.

Although women's stiffened bodices from the late 15th century created torsos of smooth, unnatural geometry, breasts remained as sculpted round monobusts for two centuries. When the "Natural" body fashions came about in 1800, the lift-and-separate became the mode du jour, using gussets for each breast. In 1813, Jane Austen was amused that "stays now are not made to force the bosom up at all; that was a very unbecoming, unnatural fashion".

History has demonstrated little indication that bras with clearly visible cups existed before the 19th century, according to Team Leader Beatrix Nutz, an archaeologist with the Institute of Archaeologies at the University of Innsbruck, who made the find. “My first thought was what probably anybody would have thought, ‘That´s impossible, there aren´t such things as bras in the 15th century,’” Nutz tells Ecouterre.

In the medieval era, we know women wore linen tunics, washable chemises, smocks, and shifts underneath, so as to protect their outer garments. The approach to handling breasts was previously unknown, except that they used tight gowns, which, if cut well, supported the bust. The Lengberg discovery is the missing link to this previously unknown history on medieval female undergarments.

Throughout the ages, people's attire has told us about one's relationship with themselves and their environment. How women manage their breasts is one of the most intimate and fascinating ways to understand the social concerns during any era. Ms. Nutz notes that people had similar daily concerns to now: enhancing or reducing the bust "so there is no gossip in the city."

Unlike female undergarments, male underpants are frequently depicted in medieval imagery.

There has been some documentation found describing the wear of female underwear during the medieval era. There is a court record of a rape trial in the mid-14th-century Paris. Describing the assault, the 12-year-old plaintiff testified that the accused "la jeta à terre et avala ses braies" - threw her to the ground and pulled down her underpants.

In the mid-14th-century Paris it was normal for at least some women to wear underpants at least some of the time. However, per historians, underwear was considered more a symbol of male dominance.

Author Louis Tanon published Histoire des Justices des Anciennes Églises et Communautés Monastiques de Paris in Paris in 1883. Transcribed within is the Registre Criminel de Saint-Martin-des-Champs, which notes this case.

The 12-year-old Parisian girl used the word for male underpants, 'braeis', which suggests that they were either identical to the male garments of the time - which were considerably longer and baggier than the ones shown below, in this article - or similar enough to those made for males.

There are limited amounts of written medieval sources on possible female breast support, but they are rather vague on the topic. Henri de Mondeville, surgeon to Philip the Fair of France and his successor Louis X, wrote in his Cyrurgia in 1312–20: “Some women… insert two bags in their dresses, adjusted to the breasts, fitting tight, and they put them [the breasts] into them [the bags]every morning and fasten them when possible with a matching band.”

The ‘bags’ referenced served the same purpose as antique breast bands – that is to contain very large breasts. However, in Konrad Stolle's chronicle of Thuringia and Erfurt in 1480, he complains that the “shirts with bags in which they put their breasts” seems to have had obtained the opposite effect one would think, as he concludes his description with the words “all indecent”.

Additionally, the following is an extract from “Meister Reuauß”, a satirical poem of the 15th century (Vienna, Austrian National Library Cod. 2880, fol. 130v to 141r), from: Schönbach 1873, p. 18. Below the extract is the English translation, translated by Ms. Nutz.

Ir manche macht zwen tuttenseck

Damit so snurt sie umb die eck,

Das sie anschau ein ieder knab,

Wie sie hübsche tütlein hab;

Aber welcher sie zu groß sein,

Die macht enge secklein,

Das man icht sag in der stat,

Das sie so groß tutten hab.


Many a woman makes two bags for the breasts with

it she roams the streets,

so that all the guys look at her,

and see what beautiful breasts she has got;

But whose breasts are too large,

makes tight pouches,

so it is not told in the city,

that she has such big breasts.

This and other written sources can also be found in: Kania 2010, p. 132-133 (in German).

Stays, or corsets, have been worn from bust to hip. In the 1900s, women began wearing "brassieres," - short, sleeveless camisoles - over corsets, to hold everything together and to avoid the pesky muffin-tops. Narrow-strapped brassieres appeared in the 1910s and the corset began to disappear through the 1920s. In the 1930s, women began using slinky, bias-cut gowns, which were as soft and natural as the first appearance, in what we know now to be the Austrian design.

Lingerie is a French word for "things made from linen." Fibre usually decays in damp ground, if buried, and suffers meticulous reuse if left behind. Medieval linen rarely survives. Those pieces that due survive the times are typically royal or saintly relics. The London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre has a collection of everyday medieval textile and clothing pieces excavated from the Thames, which yielded just a few scraps of linen and piles of wool and silk outer garments. To find any medieval linen in tact is surely a great find and exciting in itself.

Men have been known to have worn under-shirts and braies (medieval underpants resembling modern-day boxer shorts). Women were known to have worn a smock or chemise and no pants. These things were all we have known about medieval underwear. Now, because of the following archaeological finds within Lengberg Castle in Austria, we have a better idea of what some women wore underneath their dresses.

(Right) Lengberg Castle, East-Tyrol: 15th century linen “bra”
(Foto: © Institute for Archaeologies)

This antique büstenhalter (jub buckets) was located in a rubbish-filled vault in Lengberg Castle.

The university says it's similar to a 1950's modern longline bra. They explain: "The cups are each made from two pieces of linen sewn together vertically... The surrounding fabric of somewhat coarser linen extends down to the bottom of the ribcage with a row of six eyelets on the left side of the body for fastening with a lace. The corresponding row of eyelets is missing... Needle-lace is sewn onto the cups and the fabric above thus decorating the cleavage. In the triangular area between the two cups there might have been additional decoration, maybe another sprang work."

The above mosaic is from the Villa Romana del Casale in Sicily and it is often noted as the 'bikini girls', but these women are clearly athletes and their 'bikinis' look more like contemporary, elite, women's athletic apparel.


First documented in 1190, the Lengberg Castle was rebuilt and extended into a representative palais in 1480, by adding a second floor. In July 2008, when the castle was undergoing extensive reconstruction, a vault filled with waste was found beneath the floorboards of a room on the second storey. It is believed that the items found were buried when the building was extended in 1480 and that the exceptionally dry conditions in the vault stopped the fragile garments from disintegrating over the centuries. Items such as shoes and textiles had been extremely well preserved

The discovery included four bras and two pairs of pants. Two of the bras resemble modern counterparts, but the others are described rather bluntly as ‘shirts with bags’, the August issue of the BBC History Magazine reports. These bras were particular in that they had distinct cut cups. In contrast, the antique Greek or Roman breast bands we have knowledge of were simply strips of cloth or leather wound around the breasts and designed to flatten rather to enhance.

The two ‘bras’ from Lengberg Castle that seem to be ‘shirts with bags’ are unfortunately fragmented, with only one cup preserved, but they appear to have had additional cloth above the cups to cover the cleavage, thus being a combination of a shirt, ending right below the breasts, and a bra.

The third brassiere looks a lot more like a modern bra and is possibly what the unknown German author from 'Meister Reuauß' was referring to. This brassiere has two broad shoulder straps and, as noted from the partially torn edges at the cups, indication of a back strap. The shoulder straps are elaborately decorated with needle-lace on the shoulder straps.

All the bras found are decorated at the lower end with finger-loop-braided laces and needle-lace.

Medieval Lingerie - BBC History
Lengberg Castle, East-Tyrol: pair of linen male underpants
(Foto: © Institute for Archaeologies)

The fourth found 'bra' (shown above).

It is unclear to whether all women in the Middle Ages wore breast coverings, but some definitely did. It seems that it was socially acceptable to wear undergarments as a woman, but if a brassiere were worn, then they were worn to flatten, not enhance, the bosom. Enhancing the bosom was not, as writings suggest, socially acceptable.

Prior to this find, it was believed that women did not wear underwear until as late
as the end of the 18th century.

It may have been unconventional and frowned upon for women to wear undergarments, but it doesn't mean that there weren't those that did. One has to question a woman's menstruation cycle control.

During the centuries before us, most stories were told by men, due to the educational boundaries of women. Most sources state that women did nothing, which evokes imagery of women bleeding wherever they went during this time of their cycle. "However, there are two translations of the Bible, the Douay–Rheims Bible (1609–10) and the King James Bible (1611), which mention “rags of a menstruous woman” (Isaiah 64/6) and “menstruous cloth” (Isaiah 30/22). To have it translated that way suggests that the translator must have known about the possible use of a strip of cloth used particularly for this purpose – and underpants would have been necessary to have kept those ‘rags’ in place." (1)

Even though the use of female undergarments was frowned upon, there were still women noted in history to have wore them. For example, Eleanor of Toledo (1522–62) owned a pair in 1561, later, many pairs were made for Maria de Medici (1573–1642), the new Queen of France, and even English Queen Elizabeth I was noted to have worn them. Pietro Bertelli also notes Venetian courtesans wearing underwear in his 'Costumes of Different Nations' (1594).

Above is a book illustration from a German translation of Giovanni Boccaccio’s Famous Women, which was published in 1474. It displays the ladies-in-waiting of Semiramis, Queen of the Assyrians, wearing underpants. But of the Queen, it is said “Semiramis, a woman once Ninus’ wife, masqueraded as a boy, his son” and “it is believed that she gave herself to many men. Among her lovers was her own son Ninias.


1. BBC History Magazine, Vol. 13, no 10 - Oct-2012 and Vol. 13, no 8 - Aug-2012

2. "Austrians drool over 15th-century jub buckets Earliest known bra unearthed in East Tyrol" By Lester Haines

3. Medieval Lingerie from Lengberg Castle in East Tyrol - Universität Innsbruck

4. Found Castle Vault Scraps - Lace Lingerie the Rage 500 Years Ago - The Daily Mail

5. Ecouterre - Medieval Lingerie

6. Article: "Medieval 'Lingerie' From 15th Century Castle Stuns Fashion Historians"
by Jasmin Malik Chua, 18-Jul-2012

7. "Medieval bras uncover the fascinating history of women's daily support needs" by Hilary Davidson, 20-Jul-2012, The Guardian

8. Universität Innsbruck: Medieval Lingerie from Lengberg Castle - East-Tyrol

9. "On the 'medieval bra'", Mel Campbell, 26-Jul-2012,
Footpath Zeitgeist

Monday, July 16, 2012

Symbolic Meaning of Fish

Water is an intrinsic portion of most spiritual beliefs. It is an ancient symbolic meaning dealing with the subconscious and depth of knowledge. Water contains all the mysteriousness of the unknown. In considering the ocean deep, we still do not know what is all down there. Even oceanic explorers who have seen wonders we have yet to see or even know about are still in awe to their constant new findings from the depths of the ocean.

Water is an endless mystery; representing that which is present, but cannot be seen.

Water is also taken to be a womb symbol. Therefore, is it associated to birth, fertility, and overall woman-ness, deriving from several ancient flood myths and the "from water springs life" concept.

Even though there are several fish in water and each contain different symbolic meaning, there are some prime symbolic meanings the fish in general holds, such as: fertility, femininity, eternity, creativity, happiness, good luck, knowledge/wisdom, and transformation

Depending on the culture and era, diverse peoples have had various views on the symbolic meanings for fish.


Pagans were one of the first to use the fish symbol. It was viewed that the fish was a feminine symbol of fertility and an attribute of the Goddess. Water to them represents the flow of the Divine Mother principal, so all water creatures are part of fertility and the power of the Goddess. The pagan fish symbol was a simplified image of a woman's womb or vagina. The overlapping two thin crescent moons signify a woman's monthly cycle.

Babylonian & Assyrian

The Babylonians also included fish in their mythology. The mermaid and fertility goddess of the seas, Atargatis - in Aramaic ‘Atar‘atah - , some say was born from a giant egg that was pushed by fish out of the river Euphrates. This Syrian deity was commonly known to the ancient Greeks as Aphrodite Derceto or Derketo. Atargatis' main sanctuary was at Hierapolis (modern Manbij). As the baalat (“mistress”) of Her city and people, she was responsible for their protection and well-being, but primarily was known as the goddess of fertility. Doves and fish were sacred by Atargatis; doves as an emblem of the Love-Goddess and fish as a symbol of the fertility and life of the waters. The Babylonians had several gods and goddesses who took the shape of a fish, dolphin, or other sea creature. Most of these gods and goddesses were connected to sexuality. They believed, like many other cultures, that the oval outline of a fish was similar to the shape of a womb.

"Not far from Her temple was a sacred lake, filled with many varieties of fish, Her sacred animal. These fish were well-kept, sometimes even ornamented with jewels (Lucian says he saw one particular fish that had a jewel in its fin on several occasions): they knew their names and would come when called, and would snuggle up to people to be pet. In the middle of the lake was an altar that people would swim to to make offerings. According to other writers, It was taboo to eat or touch these fish, except on special occasions and by the priesthood, who considered it theaphagy, the ritual eating of the Goddess as a sacrament."

Much like the priesthood of Roman Goddess Cybele, Hers was one rumored to perform acts of self mutilation and self-castration. Also, the worship of Atargatis was practiced with song, dance, and music of flutes and rattles. Her worshippers would work themselves to a frenzy during the festivities, similar to Cybele's.

"In Syria and in Urhâi [Edessa] the men used to castrate themselves in honor of Ataratha. But when King Abgar became a believer, he commanded that anyone who emasculated himself should have a hand cut off. And from that day to the present no one in Urhâi emasculates himself anymore."

A LEAD VOTIVE OF ATARGATIS HELIOPOLITANUS, 1st-4th century AD. Flanked by two bulls. 3.75 inches. Jidejina’s book “Baalbek” p. 37 states that these lead ex-votos representing the triad worshipped at Heliopolis-Baalbek (Mercury-Hermes, Atargatis-Venus, and Jupiter) were carried on ceremonial occasions in a sacred procession from Heliopolis to Ain Lejouj where they were then flung into the waters of the spring. 

Some scholars say the fish head hat of the priests of Enki, a Sumerian god of water, crafts, mischief, intelligence, and creation, later became the mitre of Catholic bishops.

Enki was part of the Sumerian tri-Gods and was commonly represented as a half-fish, half-goat creature. He was also the one that devised that men should live as slaves to the gods. As the Dagon priests sprinkled holy water in ceremony, so did the priests of Enki.

Enki was prominent from the third millennium down to Hellenistic times.

The common translation of his name is "Lord of the Earth," but the translation is still in debate.

In Assyria, there were carved depictions of pagan priests, who were shown as being half sun-fish and half man on stone slabs. These priests were sprinkling holy water. In later depictions, the fish head's mouth on the priest's head was opened (as shown in the photograph below). The rest of the fish was still shown as a cloak over the man. These depictions were of the God of Babylon and Philistia, Dagon or Oannes. Dagon's name was derived from the Semitic root dag, and means, accordingly, "little fish". Dagon is sometimes associated with the female half-fish deity, Derceto or Atargatis, often identified with Astarte. Most of Dagon's worshippers abstained from eating fish, a practice that one is naturally inclined to connect with the worship of a fish-god, similar to the worshippers of Atargatis.

"In Babylon there was "Oannes" a fish god who imparted great knowledge to the people. He taught them how to build cities. He also taught them math and geometric laws, and was credited with giving them all the knowledge that they would ever receive. At night, he would go back into the sea to spend the night, because he was amphibious. He had the head of a man; covered by the head of a fish, and had the legs and feet of a man and the torso of a man, but was covered by the scales and tail of a fish. ". -Berossus; from ancient fragments
(Isaac Preston Cory)


The Egyptian astrological hieroglyph below, the vesica piscus (Latin: 'air bladder of a fish'), is a symbol for virginity and purity. It was written in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs that the fish was the vulva of Isis, who, after taking form of a fish, swallowed Osiris' penis.

Vesica Piscis

Isis, Horus, and a Whole Fish Mitre

The Egyptian gate to Paradise
(Note how it looks like the Omega symbol)

Roman & Greek

In Greco-Roman mythology the fish was considered a sacred animal. The fish represented change and transformation. In the myth of Aphrodite and her son, Heros, they transform into fish in order to escape the monster Typhon/Typhoeus (son of Gaia and lord of chaos, who tried to destroy Zeus at the will of Gaia, for the imprisonment of the Titans). The two tied their tails together to insure they would not be parted during their escape (creating the symbol of the Pisces) and hid in the waters of the Nile. A stellar image of Ichthyes ("Twin Fish"), as seen below, remains to keep the influence of Typhon forever at bay. One fish swims North, "toward the cosmic waters of forgetfulness." The other fish swims West, "toward the constellation Aquarius and the waterbear's waves of enlightenment. At the same time, the Ichthyes are tied together, representing the eternal quest that draws the soul toward these dual destinations and the dilemmas of spiritual desire."

"In fact the tradition of eating fish on Friday comes from many different pagan cultures. Aphrodite Salacia, the fish Goddess, was worshipped by her followers on her sacred day of Friday. They ate fish and engag[ed] in orgies. Which is how the word "salacious," meaning lustful, became used. The Christian church assimilated this tradition by requiring the faithful to eat fish on Friday.

Throughout the Mediterranean, mystery religions used fish, wine and bread for their sacramental meal and ancient Rome called Friday "dies veneris" or Day of Venus, the Pagan goddess. Venus is the one in the fable of the mystic egg of the Babylonians about the giant egg falling from heaven into the River Euphrates. The fishes rolled it to the bank where the doves having perched upon it, hatched it. What came out of this egg was Venus-also referred to as the morning star. Venus afterwards was called the Assyrian goddess or Astarte, the queen of heaven.

In all of these stories we find the tradition of Easter born from these mystery legends as Easter was just another name for Astarte. This festival in ancient Babylonianism of Astarte (known as Istar or Easter), was about her son coming back from the dead which is why the Easter celebration has the symbolic egg as well as the Astarte name for the celebration of the borrowed mythical resurrection of the Bright Morning Star" -Jesus (Revelation 22:16).
The Roman goddess, Cybele ("Magna Mater," great queen mother goddess), wore a mitre on her head that looks like the fish head of Dagon, in Assyria. Cybele relates directly to Catholic Mariology. Even the celibate priesthood of Cybele is compared to the Catholic priesthood, except Catholic priests were and are able to maintain their "manhood" after entering. And incredibly, even the main temple of Cybele, in Rome, lays below the famous basilica of Saint Peter. You must go to the Palatine Hill in Rome to be able to still see ruins to one of Cybele's temples.

""The Great Goddess of Asia Minor is the oldest true Goddess known, predating the Goddesses of the Sumerian and Egyptians by at least 5,000 years."

In later centuries, the leopards would be changed to lions - the metamorphosed Atalanta and Hippomenes, though leopards were considered to be female lions by the ancients. Her worship was originally combined with that of the Bull of Heaven which is also prominently displayed at Çatal Hüyük.

The basilica of Saint Peter's, according to some, stands upon the former site of Cybele's main temple in Rome.

The fish symbol has dated back to 6,000 B.C. in ancient Europe and symbolized determination, adaptability, and the flow of life in ancient European and Norse cultures, since they adapt well in the wild and the people adopted these characteristics for themselves. Most commonly revered were the Salmon due to their determination in their annual trip, swum against the current each way, to their spawning grounds.


In Norse mythology, the god Loki (a fire god, known as a trickster, mischief-maker, and a shape-changer) has a legend surrounding an incident as he attended a feast given by Asgard, in which he happily torments the guests with insults and sneers. To escape the wrath of the other gods and goddesses, who had tolerated him until then, Loki transformed into a salmon. Loki is caught, after Odin sent out an expedition to catch him, and he is placed in a dark cave until he emerged and lead an army of evil to fight with the other gods in a final battle. Loki met his end.
"Aegir was one of the three jotuns who lived in Asgard, the two others are Loki and Karl.
Aegir was married to his sister Ran, and was the father of nine daughters, the waves. Who is said to be the mothers of Heimdall. The names of Aegir’s nine daughters were Himminglaeva, Dufa, Blodughadda, Hefring, Ud, Hrönn, Bölge, Dröfn and Kolga. A few stories claim that Aegir was the brother of Loki and Karl. Aegir was one of the oldest gods, and predates the Aesir, Elves, Dwarfs, Giants and Vanir. His house is under the island of Hlesey “laesoe” or “cat’s throat”, in the coral caves. The island is between Jutland and Zealand in Denmark. He had two servants Eldir and Fimafeng."


The salmon was symbolic to the ancient Celtic people, representing knowledge, wisdom, mystic inspiration, prophecy, and rebirth. Per the legend of Finn, by consuming sacred hazel nuts from the well of knowledge (Segais), the salmon obtained its wisdom. Finn (Fionn mac Cumhaill) obtained the wisdom of prophecy by sucking his thumb, after burning himself while cooking the salmon. The Celts believed that if they ate salmon, or Eod Feasa, they would gain wisdom of the well too.

The Celtic legend of Finn is highly associated with the Norse tale of a hero, Sigurd. Finn's tutor was the owner of the salmon in the Celtic version and Regin is Sigurd's tutor. Also, the salmon in the Celtic legend takes the place of a dragon's heart, as in the Norse tale. The Norse tale most likely arrived in Ireland and Scotland during the ancient Germanic and Scandinavian migration.

This story bears an uncanny resemblance to later Grail romances. A worthy, charmed king is in possession of a life-sustaining cauldron. He is then afflicted by an agonizing wound that directly correlates to the desolation of his domain. For a certain amount of time, he presides over an otherworld feast, at which his followers are regaled with food and drink, while oblivious to grief and worldly concerns. Based on these over abundant similarities, it is hard to refute Bran as the likely forebearer of Chretien's Fisher King. Though, Weston does just this. In place of Bran, she submits that the true origins of the Fisher King can be traced back to pagan Mystery Cults, and in particular the Irish story of the Salmon of Wisdom, centered around the exploits of Finn Mac Cumhail.

"As a boy, Finn is said to have entered into the service of an old man, Finn Eger, who had been waiting seven years for the Salmon of Lynn Feic. Shortly after arriving, the youth succeeds in catching the fish where his elder had failed. The old man takes charge of the catch nevertheless. The young Finn is told to watch the fish while it roasts with the specific condition that he not eat any of it. But the boy, being young, hungry and impulsive, disobeys the command. He reaches into the fire to assuage his gnawing hunger, burning his hand in the process. As he put his thumb into his mouth to soothe the pain, he immediately became possessed of all knowledge, thereby becoming the symbolic successor of Finn Eger. In this myth the wonderful fish initially appears as a feature common to Celtic otherworld tales. It is "the magic food," writes Nitze, "whereby a hero is made immortal, and which enables him to be re-born." This theme, literally 'food for thought,' is also evident in the Welsh tale of Gwion, who partakes of the Cauldron of Inspiration, only to be reincarnated as Taliesen the bard. But the most obvious carry-over of this tradition(the concept of a sacred fish as a source of enlightenment(can be seen in the Christian applications of the story."

Fionn mac Cumhaill (earlier Finn or Find mac Cumail or mac Umaill, later Anglicised to Finn McCool) was an Irish mythical hunter-warrior, seen also in the mythologies of Scotland and the Isle of Man. The stories of Fionn and his followers, the Fianna, form the Fenian cycle or Fiannaidheacht, much of it supposedly narrated by Fionn's son, the poet Oisín.

Fionn or Finn is actually a nickname meaning "fair" (in reference to hair colour), "white", or "bright". His childhood name was Deimne, and several legends tell how he gained the nickname when his hair turned prematurely white. The name "Fionn" is related to the Welsh name Gwyn, as in the mythological figure Gwyn ap Nudd, and to the continental Celtic deity Vindos.

The 19th century Irish revolutionary organization known as the Fenian Brotherhood took its name from these legends. The Scottish name Fingal comes from a retelling of these legends in epic form by the eighteenth century poet James Macpherson."

"The young Fionn met the leprechaun-like druid and poet Finn Eces, or Finnegas, near the river Boyne and studied under him. Finneces had spent seven years trying to catch the salmon of knowledge, which lived in a pool on the Boyne: whoever ate the salmon would gain all the knowledge in the world. Eventually he caught it, and told the boy to cook it for him. While cooking it Fionn burned his thumb, and instinctively put his thumb in his mouth, swallowing a piece of the salmon's skin. This imbued him with the salmon's wisdom. He then knew how to gain revenge against Goll, and in subsequent stories was able to call on the knowledge of the salmon by sucking his thumb.

The salmon's place in this tale displays the esteem in which this particular family of fish is held in many different mythologies. The particular species thought to be referenced in this tale, is the Salmonidae midlandus variant. This species held a special place of esteem in traditional Irish stories due to its strength, its appearance, (significantly more scales than other species, and therefore a more striking range of colours), and its relative scarcity. The story of Fionn and the salmon of knowledge bears a strong resemblance to the Welsh tale of Gwion Bach, indicating a possible common source for both stories."


The fish is also a symbol of transformation and creation to the ancient Eastern Indians, which has been seen on pottery since approximately 2,500 B.C. In ancient Eastern Indian mythology, it was said that Vishnu transformed himself into a fish (Matsya) to save the world from the great flood. Matsya is usually shown with four arms and a fish tail.
The first Avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism was Matsya (Sanskrit: मत्स्य) (Fish in Sanskrit). The great flood finds mention in Hinduism texts like the Satapatha Brahmana, where in the Matsya Avatar takes place to save the pious and the first man, Manu and advices him to build a giant boat.

The Legend:

According to the Matsya Purana, the king of pre-ancient Dravida and a devotee of Vishnu, Satyavrata (who later was known as Manu) was washing his hands in a river, when a little fish swam into his hands and pleaded with him to save its life. Manu put it in a jar, which it soon outgrew. Then he moved it to a tank, then a a river, and then finally the ocean, but to no avail. The fish then revealed himself to be Vishnu and told Manu that a deluge would occur within seven day, which would destroy all life. Therefore, Satyavrata was instructed to take "all medicinal herbs, all the varieties of seeds, and accompanied by the seven saints” along with the serpent Vasuki and other animals. Lord Matsya is mostly represented as a four-armed figure with the upper torso of a man and the lower of a fish.

Lord Matsya is a representation of the Indian Avatar of Yishnou, coming forth from the fish. It is as well a representation of Jonah, as it does for the Hindoo divinity. Note that in both of these representations, the god has a crown on his head, surmounted with a triple ornament, both of which had evidently the same meaning, i. e., an emblem of the trinity. The Indian Avatar, represented with four arms, evidently means that he is god of the whole world. His four arms extend to the four corners of the world. The circle, which is seen in one hand, is an emblem of the eternal reward. The shell, with its eight convolutions, is intended to show the place in the number of the cycles during which he occupied. The book and sword in hands are to show that he ruled both in the right of the book and of the sword.

The concept of avatar within Hinduism is most often associated with Vishnu, the preserver or sustainer aspect of God within the Hindu Trinity or Trimurti or the one and only supreme God for followers of Vaishnavism. Vishnu's avatars typically descend for a very specific purpose. An oft-quoted passage from the Bhagavad Gita describes the typical role of an avatar of Vishnu—to bring dharma, or righteousness, back to the social and cosmic order:
“Whenever righteousness wanes and unrighteousness increases I send myself forth. For the protection of the good and for the destruction of evil,
and for the establishment of righteousness,
I come into being age after age. (Gita:4.7–8)”

The descents of Vishnu are also integral to His teaching and tradition, whereas the accounts of other deities are not so strictly dependent on their avatar stories. However, it is usual to speak of Vishnu as the source of the avatars, within the Vaishnavism branch of Hinduism Narayana, Vasudeva, and Krishna, which are also seen as names denoting divine aspects which descend as avatars.

OM symbol (Sanskrit in center)
*Note the lower case Omega symbol embedded


In ancient African culture, fish were symbolic for fertility and creativity, by embodying a new phase of life. In their creation myth, Mangala, the creator, planted seeds in the cosmic womb, from which two fish erupted and were set forth into the cosmos upon the waters of creation.

The Mandé creation myth is the traditional creation myth of the Mandé peoples of southern Mali. The story begins when Mangala - the creator god - tries making a balaza seed, but failed. He then made two eleusine seeds of different kinds, which the people of Keita call: "the egg of the world in two twin parts, which were to procreate." Mangala then made three more pairs of seeds. Each pair became the four elements, or four directions, as corners in the framework of the world's creation. This he folded into a hibiscus seed. The twin pairs of seeds, which are seen as having the opposite sex, are referred to as the egg, or placenta, of the world. This egg held the archetype of people with an additional two pairs of twins, one male and one female.
Among them was Pemba, who wished to dominate. So, he left the egg early, ripping a piece of his placenta. Pemba fell through space and his torn placenta became the Earth. Due to his leaving the egg prematurely, the Earth, formed from this unwanted piece, was arid and barren and was of no use to Pemba. So, Pemba tried to return to the egg, to rejoin his twin and his place in the rest of the placenta. However, it was not to be found. Mangala had changed the remaining placenta into the sun. In effect, Pemba stole male seeds from Mangala's clavicle and took them to the barren Earth and planted them there. Only one of the seeds could germinate in the dry earth, a male eleusine seed, which grew in the blood of the placenta. Although, because Pemba had stolen the seed and it germinated in Pemba's own placenta, the earth became impure and the eleusine seed turned red.
The other male twin, Faro, who had assumed the form of twin fish, was sacrificed to atone for Pemba and was to purify the earth. Faro was cut into sixty pieces, which fell to the earth and became trees. Mangala then restored Faro to life, giving him now the form of a human, and sent him down to Earth in an ark made from his own placenta. With him came four pairs of male and four pairs of female twins who became the original ancestors of mankind, all whom were made from Faro's placenta. The ark also held all the animals and plants created on Earth, which also carried the male and female life force. Sourakata followed with the first sacred drum made of the sacrificed Faro's skull, which he played to bring rain to Earth. When the rain did not come, the ancestral smith came to earth and with his hammer, he struck a rock and then the rain came. (Note relations to Roman/Greek mythology here)
Faro created all the world that mankind has come to know from the descendants of Mangala's original egg seeds. He caused the land to flood, to wash away the impure seed of his brother, Pemba, and from this flood, only the good were saved and sheltered by Faro's ark. (Note the relation to the worldly belief of the Great Flood)


The fish is a symbol of abundance and faith in Christianity, as seen in the Biblical story of the fishes and loaves. Several Biblical references also refer Christ and his disciples as being "fishers of men." Man is represented as the transformational fish and the ocean is a symbol of the abyss of sin in which man finds in himself. Titus Flavius Clemens (St. Clement of Alexandria) suggested that the Christians identify themselves with a seal engraved with either a dove or a fish, in the second century. The fish symbol was used by Christians even prior to this time. The symbol may have been a protest against the Pagan emperors of the time, who named themselves Theous Yios (God's son). During the reign of Domitian, this name also appeared on Alexandrian minted coins. It was also mentioned in the Bible several times. The letters of the Greek word for fish, ΙΧΘΥΣ (pronounced Ichthys) was noted by Clemens (Greek theologian) as making a little acrostic:

"It is generally well-accepted that the fish is a symbol of Christ. In one prayer ('Iesous CHristos Theou HUios Soter, or Jesus Christ, Son of God the Saviour(the first letters of each word spell out the Greek word for fish. Christ Himself is known as the fisher, and the fishnet is the symbol of the Christian sermon. Accordingly, the name of the Fisher King is connected with the words of the Saviour: "I shall make ye fishers of men" (Matth. IV.19, Mark I.17, Luke V.10), which would make anyone who converts many a rich fisher. Moreover, since fishing is directly equated with proselytizing in later Christianized versions (Q), it makes sense that these sources would disregard the physical act of fishing altogether. The Rich Fisher is wealthy in the spiritual sense, having received the blessing of the Lord. He has no further need for secular affluence. In these cases, Cavendish observes, "the purpose of the quest is no longer succession to a throne, unless it is a heavenly one. Healing the crippled king and breaking the spell on the land are only incidental to [the more central theme of spiritual enlightenment]." Case in point, the plight and exodus of Joseph of Arimathaea."


I - Iota, Iesous, Jesus

X - Chi, Christos, Christ

Θ - Theta, Theou, God

Υ - Upsilon, Yios*, Son

Σ - Sigma, Soter, Saviour

*pronounced <i>Iios</i>, with an emphasis on the 'o')

Chi (X) made the shape of the Cross, as seen by Constantine in the sky, and was the initial monogram of 'Christ.' The Chi sign and the Sign of the Cross are embedded within the tail of a fish.

The Age of Pisces also began at the time of Jesus's birth. There is astrological evidence in the story of Jesus' birth, even the fact that he was in a stable, surrounded by zodiac-like circle of animals.

Another similar symbol to the fish is the lowercase Greek character for Alpha (α). Jesus called himself "the Alpha and the Omega"2 (beginning and the end).
When Christians were persecuted by the Romans, after the crucifixion of Christ, the fish symbol was used for fellow Christians to recognize each other and not be by non-Chistians. During this time, the cross was not used by Christians. The fish was used since it was simple and easily understood by Christians alike. By the fourth century, the cross became a widely used throughout Christianity. Although, recently the fish has been revived by some Christian groups.

If noticed, the Popes in the Catholic Church still wear a fish mitre on their heads, as the ancient pagan fish-god, Dagon, and the Roman goddess Cybele. Both Cybele and the some of the Pope hats have a sun wheel above the center of their forehead, which is a symbol for the pagan sun god.

"Mr. A. Trimen, a distinguished London
architect and author, found that on a
certain occasion every year the Chinese
Emperor, as Pontifex Maximus of his nation,
wears a mitre which is the very counterpart
of the Papal mitre."
-(Hager, on Chinese Hieroglyphics,
B. xxxv, in the British Museum)


The fish is a symbol for fidelity and unity in China, specifically the koi, as they frequently swim together in pairs. Often fish charms or figurines are given as gifts at weddings to symbolize the newly-weds fidelity and perfect union. The fish, due to its ability to reproduce in speed and volume, also symbolizes fertility and abundance.

The yin-yang is the symbol of the cosmic philosophy or religion of Tao and how opposing forces interconnect, interact, and are mutually dependent in the physical, natural world. This symbol is also shown with two fishes, where Yang's eye is in the Yin fish and Yin's eye is in the Yang fish.

Part of the Buddhist belief is that fish represent happiness, well-being, and freedom. Symbolizing living in a state of fearlessness, the fish lives without danger of drowning in the waters of sufferings and is able to swim freely and spontaneously.

Lastly, the mokugyo ('wooden fish'), a Japanese fish effigy, is carved on a round-ish shaped solid block of wood (hollowed out) with fish-scales and sometimes with a lion's or dragon's head. It is used as a drum along with a kyouten (sutra-reading). The large eyes seen on the never-blinking mokugyo are shown as a reminder that God is always watching us.


1. The Doorway to Symbolism

2. The Meaning of Fish

3. Norse Mythology

4. Tattoo Designs - Symbols - Fish

5. Dagon, Cybele, & Catholicism

6. Dagon Photograph (1)

7. Dagon Photograph (2)

8. The "Dagon" Mitre Photograph

9. Celtic Symbols

10. IXOYE - Christian Fish

11. Christian Fish - Basic

12. Atargatis

13. Dagon

14. Piscean Journey

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Apocalypse & the MesoAmerican Calendars

“We have the intervening time to enjoy what the Great Mother gives us and to use responsibly the double-edged sword of technology that our Human cousins have created. We must use both the energy of nature and the power of technology to try to fix the damage done by our short-lived relatives.”
- Ehran the Scribe

Mayan Calendar

December 21, 2012 C.E.. Will this date lead to the end of human life? Will the Earth move and cause terrible earthquakes, storms, tsunamis, and put certain land masses underwater? Were the people in ancient Mesoamerica correct in their predictions? These are all questions that have been discussed for centuries and will continue to be discussed until the date in question.
The Earth is predicted to shift next at the beginning of the Winter Solstice. Every 5,123 – 5,125 years or so, a perfect alignment of all of the planets within our galaxy occurs. These periods are ended by some catastrophic natural occurrence.

Why 2012? Mayan Calendar Doomsday Prophecy - Funny video clips are a click away
Why 2012? Mayan Calendar Doomsday Prophecy

The Aztec calendar, better known as the Eagle Bowl (shown above), has been used in a variety of forms for more than 2,000 years. It symbolizes the Aztec solar deity Tonatiuh. Based on the Eagle Bowl, a Zapotec prophecy states:

“After Thirteen Heavens of Decreasing Choice, and Nine Hells of Increasing Doom, the Tree of Life shall blossom with a fruit never before known in the creation, and that fruit shall be the New Spirit of Men.”

Each of the Thirteen Heavens and Nine Hells were fifty-two years long (1,144 years total). Each of the Nine Hells were supposed to be even more terrible than the last. August 17, 1987 C.E. was known to the Aztecs as the final day of the last of the Nine Hells. It was predicted that on that day Tezcatlipoca, the Aztec God of Death, would remove his jade mask and reveal himself as Quetzelcoatl, the Aztec God of Peace.

To the Aztecs, animals devoured humans at the end of the first age of mankind. The second age was ended by the winds. The third age was ended by fire. The fourth age was ended by water. Now, our turn. Currently we are living in the fifth age of mankind, named Nahui-Olin (translated to mean “Sun of Earthquake”). This fifth age of mankind began in 3113 B.C.E. and, to the Aztecs, is to end on December 23, 2012 C.E. This date marks the final destruction of human existence on Earth. This date also strangely coincides with the ancient Chinese oracle-calendar, the I Ching. [This will be discussed further in a later blog.]

The Mayan calendar (or the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar) is similar to that of the Aztecs and was used among other pre-Columbian Mesoamericans. According to the Gregorian calendar, the Mayan calendar began on approximately August 11, 3114 B.C.E., at the end of the last cycle of mankind. The Mayans believed each of these cycles or b’ak’tun as different “worlds” and that only certain life forms were able to make the transition from one world to the next. According to the Gregorian calendar, the exact date of the Threshold Level, or the end of the thirteenth b’ak’tun cycle, would be passed on December 21, 2012. There is an incomplete inscription on the Tortuguero Monument 6 that records this date. The Temple of Inscriptions, in Palenque, has this date carved into its walls. The Temple functions as a base date from which other dates are computed.

There are Seven Ages of Man in the Mayan calendar. According to Ehran the Scribe, the canonical dates at the ends of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth worlds are:

August 12, 3113 B.C.E. – The fall of Atlantis (Fourth “World”)
December 21, 2012 C.E. – The appearance of Ryumyo (Fifth “World”)
April 4, 7137 C.E. (Sixth “World”)

The Maya spent a significant amount of time studying the stars to complete their calendar and, even though the real reason why their calendar lasted until December 21 or 23, 2012 is unclear, it appears that they were heeding us a warning that the end of the Fifth “World” will cause periodic, massive cataclysms. That time will begin a cycle of Earthquakes. It has been predicted by the Mesoamerican peoples that only a few people will survive the catastrophe that is to come. The Mayans predicted that humanity will realize its spiritual destiny in the Fifth “World.” Human beings will realize God within ourselves in the Sixth “World.” And human beings will develop so spiritually that they will become telepathic in the Seventh “World.” These forms of earth religions give off that humans need to reconnect with the Earth, in order to save themselves.

In 2012, the sun will shift, the sun and planets will all align with the center of the Milky Way for the first time in about 26,000 years, the earth will shift, and the most expensive, luxurious hotels in the world were already being booked out ten years in advance for that fateful day. Take advantage and enjoy the last days on Earth, in case you are one of those who are not so lucky to move on to the Sixth “World.”

More to come… The planets’ alignment and what is to occur to the Earth because of the gravitational pull between all our galaxy’s planets. The poles are to move again!

Links & References:

Does Maya calendar predict 2012 apocalypse?, 27-Mar-2007, USA Today

The Mayan Calendar

The Mayan Calendar 2012 & Beyond – FULL

Why 2012? Mayan Calendar Doomsday Prophecy

Mayan Calendar – 2012 and the Mayan Calendar

Mayan Calendar 2012

Maya Calendar - Wikipedia

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

American Museum of Natural History New Climate Change Exhibit

The American Museum of Natural History (New York City, NY) is opening it's doors to the new exhibit entitled "Climate Change: The Threat to Life and a New Energy Future." The exhibition opens on October 18, 2008 and will remain open until August 16, 2009. After which, the exhibition will begin an international tour.

The exhibition is, as the curator, Edmond Mathez, stated, an effort to separate fact from fear and "demystify" climate change. With this examination of the most pressing scientific issues of our time, the exhibition's goal is to show how climate change is spurred by human activities which lead to the warming of the Earth. These issues could lead to drought, heavy storms, rising sea levels, and other events that may affect the natural world and the health of society.

29 billion tons of carbon dioxide is emitted by human activity per year from burning fossil fuels. - Photograph taken by Kenn W. Kiser

Hundreds of scientists and policymakers, who comprise a United Nations climate panel, have found with ninety percent certainty that human activities cause climate change, but even with proof some remain skeptical.

(Photo: A diorama of a large polar bear reduced to foraging through a garbage dump is a graphic illustration of how polar bears will be forced to invade human-populated areas in response to the dwindling of their habitat. Courtesy American Museum of Natural History.)

Mathez had stated that a few years ago he was frustrated with the fact that public awareness did not match the alarm within the scientific community, so he proposed the exhibition. "The news media was presenting climate change as a controversial issue, which is complete nonsense, it's not (controversial)," Mathez told Reuters at a preview of the exhibition.

"I'm sure there are some people that will condemn it out of hand," he said of the exhibition. "What's important to me as a scientist is my colleagues will walk through here and say we did it correctly, that we present the issue objectively."

Although the exhibition is overall showing depressing facts, it ends with a hopeful note toward the future world. Visitors may explore the various alternative energy sources, including geothermal, solar, nuclear, wind, and hydropower as well as carbon storage.

This exhibit will open visitors eyes to the fact that Earth needs to change environmentally for the better, not for the worst, and WE are the only animals on this planet that have the ability to slow it down. Unfortunately, we have already gone far enough to not being able to avoid what is coming to us.

Read more about this fascinating exhibition:

Climate Change: The Threat To Life & A New Energy Future
American Museum of Natural History

Yahoo News:




Thursday, August 21, 2008

The United States... The New Shopping Mall of the World

I love people watching. People watching is what leads me to various thoughts and ideas on the cultures and societies of today. Sometimes it even leads me to try to guess what that person's life story may have been, how it is now, or even, on occasion, how they would survive or behave in the past.

On one particular occasion, I noticed something and began to ponder differently.

I was sitting down at one of my favorite outdoor locales one afternoon last week in Boston's Back Bay, having myself a glass of wine and enjoying the sunshine and scenery, when I began to notice something. I looked around and noticed that there was a surprisingly large amount of people carrying several shopping bags in each hand. I mean, a good four to ten bags, or so, total per person that passed with names such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Chanel, Burberry, Ferragamo, Juicy Couture, and the list goes on. You definitely did not see your typical Filene's Basement bargain bags or the large, flimsy Marshall's white and blue plastic bags floating around.

I noticed more and more of these people as the hour went on. Then one thing dawned on me after paying closer attention. They were all not speaking American-English! They ranged from Japanese, Russians, South Americans, Australians, various Europeans, English, and Irish.

I then began to notice the people sitting outside at the place where I was sitting and noticed that there too there were only two tables with American-English speaking people present. [We won't count the staff/servers, as most of them in the Back Bay are foreign anyway ... and are not in the United States for vacation. :)]

I was, honestly, a bit shocked initially (before I put any real thought into it) to see this drastic change in my environment, but I didn't mind.

Barely any Americans were out shopping due most likely to the decline which is currently present within the United States of America. This being seen, while various foreigners were purchasing items by the boat-full. What happened to the United States? It has gone through quite a change. From being one of the most powerful and richness nations in the world to becoming merely the new spending ground. It has become the largest shopping mall to the world.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Historical Mystery: Lincoln & Kennedy

There are several bizarre, creepy, and odd series of occurrences and facts that are related between two of the United States' influential Presidents, Abraham Lincoln and John Fitzgerald Kennedy (J.F.K.). You would never think that these two people were so closely related in history, especially a hundred years between them. Check with a history teacher or any books related to these two individuals and you will see that it checks out to be true!

Portrait of Abraham Lincoln

First, Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846. John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Portrait of John F. Kennedy

Second, Lincoln was elected President of the United States of America in 1860. J.F.K. was elected President of the United States of America in 1960.

Kennedy Elected, 10th November 1960

Kennedy Elected, 10th November 1960

Third, both Presidents were particularly concerned with Civil Rights.

Fourth, both of these Presidents' wives lost their children while living in the White House.

Fifth, both Presidents were shot on a Friday, and in the head.

...Now it gets really weird...

Sixth, Lincoln 's secretary was named Kennedy. Kennedy's Secretary was named Lincoln.

Seventh, both were assassinated by Southerners and were succeeded by Southerners named 'Johnson.'

Andrew Johnson

Eighth, the man who succeeded Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, was born in 1808. The man who succeeded Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, was born in 1908.

Lyndon Johnson

Ninth, the man who assassinated Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth, was born in 1839. The man who succeeded J.F.K., Lee Harvey Oswald, was born in 1939.

John Wilkes Booth

Tenth, both of their assassins were known by their three names AND both of their names are composed of fifteen letters.

Lee Harvey Oswald

...Now hang on to your seat...

Eleventh, Lincoln was shot at 'Ford' Theatre. Kennedy was shot in a car called 'Lincoln,' made by 'Ford.'

Twelfth, Lincoln was shot in a theatre and his assassin ran and hid in a warehouse. J.F.K. was shot from a warehouse and his assassin ran and hid in a theatre.

Thirteenth, both Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.

...And here's the kicker...

Last, but not least, a week before Lincoln was assassinated, he was in Monroe, Maryland. A week before J.F.K. was assassinated, he was with Marilyn Monroe.

Marilyn Monroe

...Spooky... :)


1. - Lincoln Portrait Above

2. - John F. Kennedy Portrait Above

3. -

4. - The National Archives "Teaching with Documents: Lesson Plans"

5. - The National Archives "Presidential Libraries"

6. - John and Jackie Photograph, Above

7. - Andrew Johnson War Photograph, above

8. - Lyndon Johnson Photograph, above

9. - John Wilkes Booth photograph, above

10. - Lee Harvey Oswald army photograph, above

11. - Marilyn Monroe photograph, above

12. - Wikipedia: Abraham Lincoln

13. - Wikipedia: John F. Kennedy

14. - The White House: Abraham Lincoln Biography

15. - The White House: John F. Kennedy Biography

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Meaning of Sheep

Being one of the first animals to be domesticated by man, sheep are known to have several meanings and characteristics. Ovis aries are known so far to have began in existence since approximately 6.000 B.C.E, but the earliest woven garments have only been dated to 2-3.000 years later. The sheep is seen as having a lack of individuality.

Nama Rhyton Anavyssos
A sheep's-head rhyton. Rhyton (plural rhyta) is the ancient Greek word (ῥυτόν rutón) for a container from which fluids were intended to be drunk, or else poured in some ceremony such as libation.
English Description: Man pursuing a woman. Red-figure ram rhyton by the Villa Giulia Painter, ca. 460-450 BC. From Anavyssos in Attica.
Current Location: National Archaeological Museum in Athens, 15880.

Sheep were considered to be forms of the Apostles in old Roman churches, as they gathered around the Agnus Dei. Very often, Christ is depicted with a lamb in His arms, surrounded by sheep, especially on early paintings and in catacombs, on engraved gems. In this view, sheep signify the flock of Christ. Shepherd, in the Old Testament, is often applied to rulers. For instance, King David was given the title of a Shepherd.

The signification of sheep in the Biblical sense is the good of the will. Lambs signify innocence. The ram, in the Bible, was a substitute for ‘human’ sacrifice.

A 1st century CE relief of a bull, a sheep and a pig being led to sacrifice in Rome.
Artist: Unknown, Location: Musée du Louvre, Paris, France - Department of Greek,Estrucan, and Roman antiquities, Ma 1096 (MR 852)
English: Suovetaurilia (sacrifice of a pig, a sheep and a bull) to the god Mars, relief from the panel of a sarcophagus. Marble, Roman artwork, first half of the 1st century CE.
Français : Suovétaurile (sacrifice d'un porc, d'une brebis et d'un taureau) en l'honneur du dieu Mars, relief du panneau d'un sarcophage. Marbre, œuvre romaine, première moitié du Ier siècle de notre ère.
Dimensions: H. 87 cm (34 ¼ in.), W. 2 m (6 ft. 6 ½ in.)
Credit: Grimani Collection in Venice; seized by Napoléon Bonaparte, 1797

The ram, or male sheep, stands for Aries (March 21 – April 20), a Fire sign. This animal symbolizes the wild, creative forces of nature, but is linked more along with issues of the intellect. It also is seen as strength, vitality, virility, creativity, the Sun, solar power, and unwavering determination.

In Chinese astrology, those people belonging to the sheep category are socially, domestically, and politically the least likely to make waves. These sheep-born are proud, domineering, strive to help and guard their fellow, and sometimes excellent doctors. They are ones to pay attention to rules and regulations that are created by laws and by society and respect order. Sheep people are nice and pleasant people. They are also born under a lucky star, which leads to fortune favoring them. Most likely they are not capable of making their own fortune in life by their own control, since they are so mild, whimsical, and unassuming. Several sheep people are attracted to success and money, but they also spend more than they earn. Sheep don’t believe in saving money and would rather overspend on luxuries. They are also very creative and artistic people. Those born in the Year of the Sheep are also gifted craftsman and mostly women.

References and Other resources: - Anima; Symbolism - Many Cultures - Chinese Astrology - Animals, Birds, and Insects and their Meanings,M1 – The Continuum Encyclopedia of Animal Sybmolism in Art, by Hope B. - The Sheep, Tiger, Whale and Fish, Wolf - 1st Sheep picture shown above - Rhyton picture above - Suovetaurilia picture above - Chinese Horoscope Sheep picture above

Thursday, February 14, 2008

St. Valentine's Day - The Celebration of Martyrs & Love

February 14th. Valentine's Day. A celebration of love, joy, romance, and all forms of togetherness. What most people do not know is that February 14th is actually the day that three beloved St. Valentines were martyred.

One of the said Saint Valentines (in above picture) was a holy priest during a time in Rome, under the rule of Emperor Claudius II "The Cruel," when the city was involved in several unpopular and bloody campaigns. These campaigns, of course, required a strong army, to which the emperor was having difficulty maintaining. Seeing that several men were unwilling to join the Roman army during this period due to their strong devotion to their wives and families, Claudius made the decision to ban all marriages and engagements in Rome.

With the injustice this decree created to the Roman people, Valentine crossed Claudius in secret and went forward in performing marriages for young lovers.

Of course, Valentine was eventually discovered performing these criminal actions.

Claudius immediately ordered Valentine to be executed. After being arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, he was doomed to be beaten to death with clubs and then be beheaded. The Prefect's sentence towards Valentine was carried out on February 14th on or around the year 278 C.E.

According to history/legend, Valentine had become friends his jailer's daughter and had left a farewell letter, or note of sorts, to which he signed at the end, "From your Valentine." (Recognize the similarity in our own wording on Valentine's Day cards sent to ones we care for... Will you be my Valentine?)

For his great service in maintaining the bond of marriage, after Valentine was martyred he was named a saint.

Although, there was not just one Saint Valentine. The true exact origins and identity of the St. Valentine, mentioned above, are actually not well known. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under the date of 14 February. They say that one Valentine was a martyr in the Roman province of Africa, the second was a priest in Rome (as mentioned above), and third was a bishop of Interamna (now named Terni, Italy).

There are various legends on how the martyr's name became referenced when speaking of romance. For one, his death, due to its occurring on Feruary 14th, may have been connected to the pagan festival of love, the Feast of Lupercalia. During this feast, the names of young women were dropped in a box and fate was supposed to draw the men to select the name of the women they were meant to love.

We do know that Pope Gelasius, in 496 C.E., ceased the celebration towards the Feast of Lupercalia and declared February 14th to be known from that year on as St. Valentine's Day. Eventually, this day of celebration became one on which the exchanging of love notes, poems, and simple gifts to your loved one or friends were given, such as flowers, chocolates, etc.



1. History Channel Online

2. The Holiday Spot, "History of Valentine's Day":


1. Hearts:

2. St. Valentine, from Rome:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull - Poster Just Released!

It has finally happened! The latest addition to the Indiana Jones film series has finally come out of its long-overdue hiding and is exposing the truths to many rumors that have been streaming around the world. With the coming out of the official movie poster, as seen above, news has been reeling all over the world for this upcoming new film, to debut in the United States on May 22, 2008.

The movie poster above, as aired on the official Indiana Jones website, was created by artist Drew Struzan and shows Indy as the strapping archeaological hunk that is prepared to fight a new enemy against the archaeological world. The only item that is not typical of his usual posters is that he is lacking his legendary leather jacket. (*sizzling*)

This time, Jones is not going after the evil Nazi Regime, but instead the Soviet powers during the Cold War and goind after South American relics with supernatural powers. He will be traveling to New Mexico, Connecticut, Mexico City, and the jungles of Peru. I have to admit, not the exciting locations I was expecting from this new film. The jungles of Peru should prove to be interesting, I hope!

The last Indiana Jones film, The Last Crusade, was set in 1938, while this new one is set in 1957. This helps Harrison Ford look more realistic, since he then aged a bit (presently 65 years old). They also added some new aches and pains to make Indy's character more aged, but Ford will still manage to fight the incredible fights he always has in past Jones' films. Marshall stated that "Indy's a fallible character. He makes mistakes and gets hurt... That's the other thing people like: He's a real character, not a character with superpowers." Although, besides all the old jokes, Ford in this film is supposed to be still full of action and can still pack a mean punch. Can't wait! Go Harrison, Go!

More information came out in regard to the cast and the characters of the movie, to close the rumors finally, and here they are:

1. Oscar winner, Cate Blanchett, will be playing his female counterpart, the seductive Agent Spalko. "Indy always has a love-hate relationship with every woman he ever comes in contact with," Marshall says.

2. The main star of the current 3D flick, Beowulf, Ray Winstone, "co-stars as an unethical rival archaeologist," says USA Today. I guess we won't be seeing a son on Indy's behalf, as previously rumored! Too bad... let's see how this one pans out. A new Indy? No one can replace Ford.

3. Shia LaBeouf, Transformers lead, plays Indy's sidekick, riding along in a motorcycle and dirty hair.

4. Even Karen Allen's character from an older Indy film, Raider's of the Lost Ark (from 1981), the saucy Marion Ravenwood, comes back for another view.

The real crystal skulls are quartz skull sculptures of disputed origin which were carved in a way that "defies the natural structure of the crystal," says USA Today. A few reports online have stated that the film Close Encounters is cross-related to the new Indy flick by the Crystal Skulls that have been mythed to have been created by exraterrestrials to evoke aliens. Producer, Frank Marshall, stated in an interview to USA Today that "The theory is they are shaped by higher powers or alien powers or came from another world, or an ancient Mayan civilization had the powers."

I will revisit this topic soon!


To see more, you all should DEFINITELY check out the official Indiana Jones website
- USA Today, By Anthony Breznican, 10 DEC 2007
- Poster Picture, USA Today, 10 DEC 2007
- Ain't It Cool News, 10 DEC 2007