Visiting New Guinea Cannibals, Corpse-Eating Hindus

“Australian-born adventure writer Paul Raffaele doesn’t let a little danger stand in the way of a good story. In the course of his career, he has reported on modern-day slavery, dived with great white sharks and accompanied Afghan police into illegal poppy fields.

Now, in his weirdly compelling book, “Among the Cannibals: Adventures on the Trail of Man’s Darkest Ritual,” Raffaele, 64, who writes for Smithsonian magazine, intrepidly makes contact with 21st-century man-eaters. The author, who is recuperating from shrapnel wounds suffered on assignment during a suicide bombing attack in Afghanistan, spoke to me by telephone from his hotel in New York.

Schatz: Why do the Korawai in Papua New Guinea practice cannibalism?

Raffaele: They do not see it as they are eating human beings. I see it as a Stone-Age rationalization of disease that kills you, and you don’t really know why…. What they’ve come up with is this monster from the other world called a khakhua. He comes into the clan, and he inhabits the body of someone they know. And then begins to magically eat the insides of another clan member who eventually dies. And when he dies, the Korawai have to find the khakhua who killed him, so they search about and eventually come up with the khakhua and kill that person and eat that person. They have to get revenge against the khakhua.”

(via Bloomberg.com)

(Related: documentary on the Aghori sect in India-“Sadhus: India’s Holy Men” and “Cannibalism May Have Wiped Out Neanderthals”)

July Moon

After discovering the complexity of the different layouts for various situations within the Kolduny Tarot, and finding difficultly in explaining them in a few brief blog posts, Natalia Tikimirov has agreed to walk us through monthly New and Full Moon Tarot readings. These methods were handed down to her from her mother, and her mother before that.

‘The date of the New Moon is July 2 or 7/2. Draw the 7th card of the major arcana which is the Chariot and the 2nd card of the major arcana which is The High Priestess. Lay them down. Add 2 plus 7 and pull the ninth card of the major arcana which is The Hermit.

As the Moon waxes it will be governed by The Chariot, a card of drive and ambition, plowing on to reach its goals. Many decks display The Chariot being raced forward by a warrior. The early Visconti Decks however are unique in displaying a woman wearing a crown operating the chariot at a slower pace. This is to remind us that many times the fastest chariot crashes and never finishes. It is important to operate the chariot skillfully, knowing when to slow down for curves, and knowing how to avoid rough spots in the terrain. As the Moon waxes, remember the skill required to operate and maneuver the chariot.

As the Moon wanes it will be governed by The High Priestess card. Through the centuries this card has been overloaded with meanings that it did not originally have. Occultists of the 18th and 19th centuries began to attribute many meanings, many of which are thought provoking and worthy of consideration. However, if we return to the early Visconti deck we see the original meaning implied by the culture that produced this particular deck, and that meaning is quiet faith. The image presented in this deck is that of a woman sitting upon a stool of humble origins. She wears a Papal tiara on her head and a gown belonging to the Order of the Humiliati founded in 1134, the tiara and the gown tied with a simple rope shows the contrast between the pomp of religious hierarchy and simple faith of the single soul. Many lay claim that this card is a display of Giovanna who had claim and should have risen to the Papal throne in 854. And while that is just a theory, this card tells us that as the Moon wanes, we need to be willing and brave enough to acknowledge the simple faith that resides in all of us.

The soul of this Moon will be governed by The Hermit, who in the early decks held an hourglass as opposed to a lantern. Reflecting more upon time then illumination. This is a Moon to be skillful, faithful, and very much self reflective. Take the time to examine yourself closely, and don’t let this Moon pass away leaving you a stranger to yourself.

The time of this new moon along the East Coast is very interesting it will happen at 14:32. If you add these numbers together it adds to 10 just as you add this year 2008 together it adds to 10. This tells us this moon will be a very important moon for those living in the East Coast time zone.

The Full Moon this month also is very interesting. It falls on 7/18. Add 7 plus 1 plus 8 and you get 16, The Tower. Along the East Coast the Moon will go full at 2:59. Add 2 plus 5 plus 9 and again you get 16. This will be a powerful Full Moon ruled intensely by The Tower card, which is a warning for sure to be both a skillful operator as well as a faithful child. When troubled this month don’t hesitate to withdraw and slow down for some self reflection, remember The Hermit is the soul of this Moon.

If you examine the time of this new moon 14:32, you will see a pattern. The 1 jumps at us, then we see a very organized 4 3 2 taking us back to the 1. We will see a surprise this month, perhaps even a shock, but when we consider it all carefully like The Hermit, we will be forced to ask ourselves “why did that surprise me”? This time adds to 10. The year 2008 adds to 10. The tenth card of the major arcana is The Wheel, which really isn’t a tool for assistance but rather an awareness that things happen outside of our control.

(For your time zone just find the exact time of the Moon for your particular area and follow the instructions above.)

Here is a neat old Kolduny thing I will share with you. It is a good tool for considering the day.

Take the month and day you were born, and add them together. For example, if you were born on May 27th, add 5 (May) and 2 and 7: 5+2+7=14. That is the Temperance card. This number related to the Tarot, explains your needed tool for every venture you enter into. Now add the current date which is July 3, 7+3=10, which is the Wheel of Fortune card. This tells you what to expect for the day.

Now add the two together by single digits 14, and 10, 1+4+1+0=6. This would be The Lovers card. This would be your daily card; adding the day of your birth, the date of the day, in singular numbers, and reducing the numbers if over 21.

The final card is your daily card. The other two cards combined with your daily card create your daily spread. If you want to know what is happening in aspects of your life, reduce the number to less than 10, and pull the minor arcana cards for that number.

Cups: represents love, interpersonal relationships, and family.

Wands: represents intellect and creativity.

Pentacles: represents earthly considerations, work, money and survival.

Swords: represents lusts, desires and conflicts.

Give it a try. It might surprise you.’
Natalia Vladimirova Tikimirov

(See also: “An Interview with The Koldun: Natalia and Anton Tikimirov”, parts one, two and three)

Baltic Midsummer Feast Draws on a Distant Past

“Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians around the world are set to celebrate midsummer festivals Monday night with rites drawing deeply on pagan traditions of the Baltic people. “Marking the two longest days of the year, the celebration is called Jani in Latvia, Jaanipaev in Estonia, and Saint Jonas festival in Lithuania.

Christianity adopted the sun-worship holiday as the one dedicated to John the Baptist, but centuries later, pagan traditions still remain an integral part of the celebration. On June 23, Latvians crowned with wreaths of oak leaves flock to the countryside. Regarded as a holy tree in pagan times, the oak still features widely in Latvian folk songs. As the evening draws in, Latvians and Estonians light bonfires and sing folk songs or jump through the flames, seen as a way to guarantee prosperity. The white sandy beaches of the Gulf of Riga light up with bonfires as Latvians and Estonians flee cities to nature.”

(via Top News)

The Annual Phallus Festival in Greece

“Each year on the first Monday of Lent, the people of the tiny Greek town of Tyrnavos go crazy about penises, singing lewd songs and urging passersby to kiss their model phallusses. The pagan fertility festival is one of the most famous parties in Greece.

If you want to eat phallus-shaped bread, drink through phallus-shaped straws from phallus-shaped cups, kiss ceramic phalluses, sit on a phallus-shaped throne and sing dirty Greek songs about the phallus, then you should visit the little Greek town of Tyrnavos each year on “Clean Monday.”

The one-day pagan fertility festival in this town of 15,000 people near the central Greek city of Larissa marks the beginning of Lent, the fasting period before Easter, and is one of the most famous carnivals in Greece. Come prepared. Passersby tend to be grabbed and rocked over a pot of boiling “bourani” spinach soup while a ceramic penis is placed between their legs. They must kiss the phallus, then drink tsipouro — a strong local spirit — from its tip, and then stir the soup before they’re let go.”

(via Spiegel Online)

Endarkment Manifesto and Green Hermeticism

Peter Lamborn Wilson’s (Hakim Bey) half-serious proposal for a political movement to uphold and propagate the ideals of Green Hermeticism:

“At least half the year belongs to Endarkenment. Enlightenment is only a special case of Endarkenment-and it has nights of its own.


During the day democracy waxes, indiscriminately illuminating all and sundry. But shadowless noon belongs to Pan. And night imposes a ‘radical aristocracy’ in which things shine solely by their own luminescence, or not at all.


Obfuscatory, reactionary and superstitious, Endarkenment offers jobs for trolls and sylphs, witches and warlocks. Perhaps only superstition can re-enchant Nature. People who fear and desire nymphs and fauns will think twice before polluting streams or clear-cutting forests.


Electricity banished shadows-but shadows are ‘shades,’ souls, the souls of light itself. Even divine light, when it loses its organic and secret darkness, becomes a form of pollution. In prison cells electric lights are never doused; light becomes oppression and source of disease.


Superstitions may be untrue but based on deeper truth-that earth is a living being. Science may be true, i.e. effective, while based on a deeper untruth-that matter is dead.”

(via Arthur Magazine)

(Excerpt from “Green Hermeticism” and “Endarkment Manifesto” via Arthur pdf: pt 1-pg 11)

The Secret of Stonehenge

“The last time any excavation was allowed inside its ancient sarsen stone pillars was in 1964 but now the first archaeological excavations at Stonehenge in almost half a century are attempting to solve, once and for all, the mystery of how and why the stone circle was built.

The enigma of Stonehenge, famed for its orientation in relation to the rising and setting sun, has puzzled and divided experts for decades. Some say the ancient stones were built as a temple used to worship ancient earth deities. Others say it was a prehistoric astronomical observatory; others claim it was a sacred burial site for people of high birth. Arthurian legend even has it that the stones were put there by the magician Merlin.

But yesterday, researchers started the dig inside the stone circle, a project English Heritage is calling the most significant in the site’s history, and which they hope will finally lift the lid on the truth behind one of Britain’s most famous landmarks.”

(Thanks Kallisti!)

(via The Independent)

(Just for fun: Carhenge)

There is Indeed a Reason to ‘Panic’: Quirky Pastor’s Art on Display


Robert Delford Brown is the strangest pastor I know.

And I don’t think he’d mind me saying that. (I checked, by the way.) In fact, being different from all the rest was part of why he founded the Church of the Exquisite Panic, Inc. in 1964.

Entrenched in the high experimentation of New York’s art scene in the 1960s, Brown wanted a way of marrying his modernist art with his need for a religion without barriers that would allow him as well as his art to be ever-questioning and ever-evolving.

So he came up with Funkupaganism, an Orthodox Pagan religion.”

(via Star News Online)

(Funkupaganism via Funk Up)

Gods in the Flesh ? Part One

“As the main deity of the funerary cult, Osiris is shown as a mummy wearing the crown and holding the crook and flail as his royal insignia. But why is the god portrayed as a human being?

As is well known, anthropomorphy is a trait shared with all prominent members of the ancient Egyptian pantheon, often in combination with animal features. Likewise, ancient civilisations such as the Babylonians, the Hittites, the Greeks, the Persians, the Indians, the Chinese and the Aztec all widely painted, sculpted and described gods and goddesses in terms of human beings. This raises the question to what extent members of these cultures actually envisioned their gods as humans?

Euhemerus of Messene (4th century BCE) was a Greek mythographer credited with the view that the supernatural tales and characters featured in mythology were really exaggerations of mundane historical events. While his work has not withstood the ravages of time, various classical writers of the Imperial period reflected the opinion that the gods were really just extraordinary human beings.”

(via Thunderbolts. H/T: The Anomalist)

Area Pagan Dreading Big Family Vernal Equinox Celebration

Happy Equinox everyone!

“Despite evidence that the planets are aligned in his favor, local pagan Jeff Birch, 27, said Monday that he would “rather have a peaceful weekend at home” than attend his family’s Vernal Equinox celebration on March 21. “I realize it’s supposed to be a festive time of conception and new growth in the womb of Mother Earth and all,” Birch said. “But I just know that within an hour of arriving, things will get so bad that I’ll be reverting to my 12-year-old self, hiding in the rec room downstairs, wearing my Iroquois false face mask and fingering my runes for comfort. It’s not worth it.”

“Anyway, wasn’t I just back home for Mabon?” Birch added. Most pagans look forward to marking the Vernal Equinox, when the hours of sunlight equal the hours of darkness. Yet for some, like Birch, this sacred springtime celebration of balance and harmony means contending with family infighting and undue stress.”

(via The Onion)

The Occult Experience

This is a great old documentary from 1970 on various occult groups. There are interviews with Alex Sanders, Selena Fox, Olivia Robertson, Micheal and Lilith Aquino, H.R. Giger and many others. Warning: NSFW.

(via Google Video. Thanks Dedroidify!)

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