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I commented here last week on the weird Amazonian earth mother ceremony with which they kicked off the Amazonian synod.
It’s got me thinking that “Amazon” is just about right for the name of this synod, and not because of the river. The Amazons, if you remember your Greek myths, were fearsome female warriors–the daughters of Ares the god of war and Harmonia–a wood nymph. The predominance of tree worship, the reverence for the sacred grove of Amazonia and the predominance of “female ministry” all echoes the Greeks mysteries of old.
Recollection - Greek - Roman - Paganism - Myths
We have a rather twee recollection of Greek and Roman paganism. Largely, I suppose because we all read the myths in that book by Edith Hamilton. (which is available at Amazon–where else?) In fact, while the myths of the Greeks and Romans seem rather bluestocking-ish in Miss Hamilton’s anthology, the reality of pagan religion was anything but staid and spinsterish. The temples were centers of bloody sacrifices and rampant orgies. Imagine a dark cave or smoke filled temple where demon infested witches sat muttering over their fires while the drums were beating. The bleating and cawing of the animals mingled with the mindless chanting of the priests who were pulling the intestines out of bulls and studying them to prognosticate the future. If not then, after you paid the shaman to put a curse on your enemy you might go below the altar and stand naked in a niche while the priest slaughtered a bull above you and you could be baptized in bull’s blood.
How we like to sanitize paganism, but the St Francis preaching to the birdies and patting the wolf of Gubbio on the head is a far cry from the realities of pagan worship. Take the Nordic religions with their sacred groves and trees for example. The Vikings...
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