I honestly don't think people appreciate how much effort it takes for me to not physically hurt them. I am amazed I somehow managed not to break both his legs before getting off the subway. I wish laws against violence didn't protect idiots like that from the natural outcome of their boorishness. I wish they would recognize by looking in my eyes that threat of "punishment" is the only thing that holds me back from opening a new hole in their skull. Some people deserve nothing less. e_e
So, today and tomorrow mark the midway point between the spring and summer equinox, celebrated as Beltane by the Gaels, Walpurgisnacht by the Germanic Pagans, Floralia by the Romans, and Calan Mai by the Welsh (among others). These festivals generally celebrate the coming of summer, fertility, and the migration of livestock into summer pastures. They also gave people an excuse to gather, socialize, celebrate, and let loose after difficult winter seasons, as well as seek blessings from the many pagan gods, spirits, and energies which were believed to be more active than usual at this time of year. It was an important time to solidify relationships with neighbors, and other locals, and collectively raise the spirits of that particular society.
Beltane is also a time for letting go of the stresses and troubles of the past, and moving forward unburdened by the spiritual and emotional deadweight we've been carrying around. Typical celebrations include passing through or between sacred cleansing bonfires for protection, and symbolically giving your woes and troubles up to the fire's smoke to be carried away into the sky. Dancing around a Maypole was also a common tradition in the Welsh and Germanic Pagan cultures. Many also created bushes decorated by stringed flowers, ribbons, shells, and other natural symbols to be displayed in houses and town squares. It was a time of great joy, feasting, and general merriment among the people.
These festivals were important cornerstones of the year in many Pre-Abrahamic and "Pagan" religious systems; while they're still celebrated by Neo-Pagans, Druids, Satanists, Reconstructionists, and Wiccans today - they have largely disappeared since the Judeo-Christian-Islamic expansion stamped out the smaller Pagan religions that predated them. They've been mostly replaced with Church, Temple, and Mosque services, as well as private religious family gatherings in homes.
Personally, I think we've lost something huge there as a species. Sure, there are still secular festivals like May Day held in various places which try to adapt some of the less esoteric rituals into non-religious activities (maypole dancing and Halloween still takes place in a non-religious context) but by and large I think the rise of Monotheistic religions has robbed our various cultures of some really great festivals and gatherings and replaced them with some pretty stuffy dogma and ritual that doesn't do much to bring us together as a people.
I have my own views on why the Monotheists do not employ such festivals; they center a lot around self-empowerment and personal spirituality instead of religious obedience and dogmatism. They did not uphold the narrative the Monotheists were trying to push. BUT I'm curious as to what you all think about it. Are we missing out on something, or is the move away from larger village rituals and celebrations just a natural reflection of our move from Polytheism to Monotheism as a majority belief of the planet? Do you think there is benefit or harm to losing these types of spiritual festivals? Do you think their being ignored and replaced with Abrahamic and secular holidays was an intentional or malicious act, or just a natural evolution of cultural religious observances?
I just mean spending time as a people. together. We walk past each other on streets, and see each other in stores and eateries, but I feel like the concept of a "town" or a "neighborhood" is basically evaporated in most places. At least urban places. We're all just people living on our own who happen to interact sometimes.
I feel like these types of gatherings helped to build a sense of community and oneness in a town or city, and now we only get that when there's fireworks to see, or something to protest.... people don't really gather much anymore, religious or otherwise. :-\ Unless you're a fan of sports, or you go to a lot of concerts, there's no good way to get this type of large-scale communal gathering on a regular basis.
This data gathered was embedded in millions of open photography that has geospatial data embedded within. This not only shows the beauty of human geography in a artistic perspective but also shows the how valuable open geospatial data can be.
#CityMaps #MapBox #Geospatial #Flickr #HumanGeography
Plus the whole being dead thing.....
I imagine people the world over will now be running en masse to have tattoos removed to make sure their Apple Watch will work properly.
Neither the world, the flesh, nor the devil himself is like a puritan suit in only black and white. All is gray, and the devil they fear is not the devil I know.
- Mary Sibley -- Salem
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