MonthFebruary 2008

An Interview with the Koldun: Natalia Vladimirova Tikimirov, and Anton Algievitch Tikimirova by TiamatsVision-(Part 1)

Koldoun, Koldun, Koldun’ya (Russian) – A magician or sorcerer; one having more power and knowledge than a znachar (wizard). – (via the Theosophy Dictionary)

The Koldun are an ancient Pagan sect that has existed in the Russian/Slavic areas for hundreds of years. The teachings are passed down through families orally, and there isn’t much written on them. What little is known is written by scholars in a few texts on Russian magic. I sat down and talked with a couple who currently practice and live in the United States, Natalia and Anton Tikimirova.

TiamatsVision- I understand that you use tarot, astrology, numerology, and herbs in your practices. These techniques are used together for example, in finding a specific herb to use for an ailment or looking into a good day to marry. How does this work?

NATALIA- It is all intertwined, that is what keeps it a formal tradition. It is the frigid pathology of the Kolduny that has kept it so separated from other traditions. Unlike Wicca, which has it’s own beauty in its free flowing way of doing things. Yet with that freedom comes a lot of questions, which is why many who claim to be Wiccan are still seeking to define what Wicca is. It seems anyone can buy a couple of books and suddenly be “Wiccan”. I am not sure if this is a good thing or bad thing for Wicca. But that is for them to figure out. Kolduny practices are far more formal and rigid. A lot of what we do is based upon numbers. Time, is very important to us.

(Read more)

T.V- After reading a bit more about the Koldun, I found it disturbing to see how misunderstood and persecuted you were. You were feared and loathed, but not completely shunned because the people needed your services? Is this right?

NATALIA- Even today, in Russia, the znarkhar is sought after.

T.V- How far does the Kolduny tradition date back? Or is this an unknown, because of the oral nature of the teachings?

NATALIA: I remember as a young girl asking my mother this same question along the lines of ‘how far do these things go back’? My mother just smiled and said ‘to yesterday’. I didn’t understand it then and questioned her, to her chuckles and amusement. Today I do understand it. There is nothing so remembered, yet so fleeting as ‘yesterday’.

ANTON: The Kolduny can be traced back through it’s earliest legends to the invasions of the land of Rus by the Tartars which would date it’s earliest known history to around the early Byzantine era.

T.V- How are the teachings passed down to the children? Are all children taught these practices? How does that work?

NATALIA- To be Kolduny, you must be born into a Kolduny family. The teachings of the Kolduny are passed from Mother to Daughters with few exceptions. The Kolduny is very sexist in as much as only women are allowed to teach and pass on the gifts. Now we do have males who are Koldun, or mouseyhar. But the only way a male becomes a Koldun is if a woman has no daughter, or the daughter dies before ‘polovoy vozrast’. In this case the mother is allowed to teach her youngest son.

ANTON- Yeah, I come from a family of 6 boys and one girl. My sister died at the age of three, and I was the youngest son so my mother gifted me.

T.V- You mentioned earlier that to this day the ‘znarkhar is sought after’. By this do you mean people coming “after you” for persecution? Or that your wisdom is sought? Or is it both? The same as it’s been for hundreds of years?

NATALIA- The znarkyar is a healer, even today in Russia they are sought out before Doctors.

T.V- So with the power to heal, comes with it the fear of the znarkyar’s possible power to harm. And if the znarkyar doesn’t succeed in healing someone, they are probably the first suspect if the patient gets worse. That’s a lot of pressure there.

ANTON- Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

T.V- What were some of the superstitions and misconceptions that were attached to being Koldun in the old days? Are some of these superstitions still around today? Which ones?

NATALIA- I would venture that the most damning superstition would have to have been the wedding spoiling that was attributed to the Koldun, or male member of the Kolduny. Koldunias’ were sought after to help set the date of a wedding, and to assist in all aspects of it. Kolduns’ are forbidden to be public except as wedding guests. If things went badly as they often do when vodhkah is involved and the wedding would be “spoiled” it would always be blamed on the Koldun.

T.V- What is the process of finding a particular remedy for someone with a problem? You need their astrological information first, correct? The birth chart. What is done with this?

NATALIA- The first step is always the creation of the Tarot Constellation. The Kolduny believe that the Tarot Constellation is the introduction of the individual to us from the universe. The Tarot is multi cultural, it screams of humanity. The Kolduny believe that each individual has a constellation that is unique to them. Each card of the Tarot is governed by and governs all the secrets to life. Within an individuals Constellation will be cards that represent, certain herbs and times, that are beneficial to healing. Yet when a znarkyar asks, it is for purposes of healing.

(End of Part 1)

(Related: Slavic Paganism)

Alex Burns resigns as Site Editor of Disinfo

From today’s Disinfo newsletter:

Disinformation launched in October 2007 a new “user-driven” version of our site which gives Disinfonauts more freedom and flexibility to post news, vote for stories, and feedback. We’ve been thrilled at your response which continues to grow in recent weeks: YouTube clips, commentary on breaking issues and more. As part of the next phase, I’m stepping down from my past role as site editor to pursue some other projects in the coming months which you can keep track of at my personal site Publisher Gary Baddeley, Ralph Bernardo and the rest of the Disinformation team will continue this newsletter in a weekly format, with news on Disinformation’s 2008 releases and events, including the new book You Are Still Being Lied To. When Richard Metzger and Gary Baddeley asked me to write for Disinformation in 1998 it was a truly life-changing experience. I’ve been lucky since November 1999 to collaborate with writers and other Disinfonauts in an editorial role. I look forward to seeing the Disinformation community grow more with your insights and support. If the agenda-setting media gives you 3 viewpoints, and our earlier versions gave you 30, I hope to see this bloom with the new “user-driven” Disinformation into 3 million.

You’ll be missed, Alex.

Buckminster Fuller play in Portland

(Above: preview for recent San Francisco performance of the play)

R. Buckminster Fuller: The History [and Mystery] of the Universe will be appearing and Portland Center Stage from October 14 – December 7, 2008:

An engineer, architect, mathematician, designer, poet, philosopher, motivational speaker, major utopian thinker and inventor of the geodesic dome, Buckminster Fuller was one of the most remarkable minds of the 20th century. Born in 1895, Bucky was way ahead of his time. Refusing to think in conventional ways, he was an innovator, a futurist, and one of the first true global thinkers. This tour-de-force, one-man performance explores Bucky’s life and work through a blend of testimony, lecture, autobiography, poetry, comic antics and video imagery. The play spirals and spins through ideas and experiences as Bucky escorts you on an unforgettable journey.

Portland Center Stage 2008 page.

(via OVO)

Conspiracy fact: Kremlin planning to rig election

The Kremlin is planning to falsify the results of this Sunday’s presidential election in Russia by compelling millions of public sector workers to vote and by fraudulently boosting the official turnout after polls close, the Guardian has learned.

Governors, regional officials, and even headteachers have been instructed to deliver a landslide majority for Dmitry Medvedev – Russia’s first deputy prime minister, whom President Vladimir Putin has endorsed to be his successor.

Officials have been told they need to secure a 68% to 70% turnout in this weekend’s poll – with around 72% casting votes for Medvedev. However, independent analysts believe the real turnout will be much lower – with between 25% and 50% of the electorate taking part.

The Kremlin is planning to bridge the gap by the use of widespread fraud, diplomats and other independent sources have told the Guardian. Local election officials are preparing to stuff ballot boxes once the polls have closed with unused ballots, they believe, with regional officials also giving inflated tallies to Russia’s central election commission.

Full Story: The Guardian.

The Top 5 Best John F. Kennedy assassination theories

We’ve been covering conspiracy theory and paranoia a lot lately, so I thought it would be fun to revisit the daddy of ’em all (the granddaddy has to be Protocols of the Elders of Zion). These aren’t necessarily the most plausible, or the weirdest. Just the best.

5. The Federal Reserve did it: The dweebs behind everyone’s favorite boogy man got their bow ties in a wad over Executive Order 11110 and had JFK assassinated. More info.

4. Joe DiMaggio did it: JFK put the the United States on a decadent path (and had Marilyn Monroe killed), and our nation turned its lonely eyes to Jumpin’ Joe to restore righteousness to our country by killing a man in cold blood. DiMaggio stepped up the plate and, using his extraordinary gift of hand-eye coordination, put a bullet through Kennedy’s brain. More info.

3. Homosexual Thrill Kill: In the words of Jim Garrison (played by Kevin Costiner in Oliver Stone’s JFK): “It was a homosexual thrill-killing, plus the excitement of getting away with a perfect crime. John Kennedy was everything that Dave Ferrie was not – a successful, handsome, popular, wealthy, virile man. You can just picture the charge Ferrie got out of plotting his death.” Yeah, that makes sense. More info.

2. The CIA meant to miss but hit: One of the most plausible theories here comes from the Don DeLillo novel Libra: disgruntled former CIA agents meant to stage an assassination attempt to guide the government to war with Cuba. But they missed and blew the president’s brains out. More info.

1. JFK had himself assassinated: I can’t find a web site dedicated to this theory, but here’s the jist of it: dying of Addison’s disease, Kennedy decided to go out like a martyr and had himself assassinated.

(Much thanks to Nick Pell for his help with this article).

BIL: free, anarchic alternative to TED

BIL loves TED. TED is a great place to sit and listen to interesting ideas. Many of those ideas make it online, and millions get to experience them.

The catch for many of us is that TED is $6,000, which is too expensive for most people, including a great number with good ideas worth spreading. BIL has been created as a free space for people with ideas to come together and share them.

Our event is self-organizing, emergent, and anarchic. Nobody is in charge. If you want to come just show up. If you’ve got an idea to spread start talking. If someone is saying something good, stop and listen.

We hope BIL can be a perfect match to TED.

BIL web site.

Petition to pardon Scottish witch

Campaigners have submitted a petition to the Scottish Parliament calling for the last woman convicted under the Witchcraft Act to be pardoned.

Helen Duncan spent nine months in Holloway prison after being found guilty at a trial in 1944.

She had told a seance a warship had sunk before the news had been officially announced.

A second petition calls for all those convicted under witchcraft legislation in Scotland to be pardoned.

Full Story: BBC.

(Thanks Honky Tonk Dragon).

How to Start Your Own Country in Four Easy Steps

Step 1: Make sure you are eligible
Step 2: Declare independence
Step 3: Get recognized
Step 4: Join the club (the UN)

Full Story: Foreign Policy.

(via Disinfo).

Iran pays for sex change opperations

Homosexual relationships are banned in Iran, but the country allows sex change operations and hundreds of men have elected for surgery to change their lives.

“He wants to kill me. He keeps telling me to come home so he can kill me. He had put rat poison in my tea.”

For Ali Askar, at age 24, the decision to become a woman came at a heavy cost. His father threatened to kill him if he went ahead with surgery.

Now renamed Negar, she says she would not have had the operation if she did not live in Iran.

“If I didn’t have to operate, I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t touch God’s work.”

But as Ali, he felt he had no identity.

Full Story: BBC

(via Disinfo)

Interview with “freelance physicist” A. Garrett Lisi

More from TED, but considerably less grim:

Wired: Your entire career has been focused, in essence, on your rejection of string theory. What do you have against strings and extra dimensions?

Garrett Lisi: It’s more accurate to say my career (or, often, lack of one) has been focused on doing what I wanted. There are a lot of good things about string theory, and it’s great that some people want to work on it. But, to me, it seemed too disconnected from real particle physics and gravitation. It seemed unlikely that many of these string constructions could ever be experimentally tested, or connected up with the real world. So I set off to follow my own interests.

Full Story: Wired.

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