Monica Sjoo, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth (via thewaking)
Literally the most important thing you will read today.
Ancient moon priestesses were called virgins. ‘Virgin’ meant not married, not belonging to a man - a woman who was ‘one-in-herself’. The very word derives from a Latin root meaning strength, force, skill; and was later applied to men: virle. Ishtar, Diana, Astarte, Isis were all all called virgin, which did not refer to sexual chastity, but sexual independence. And all great culture heroes of the past, mythic or historic, were said to be born of virgin mothers: Marduk, Gilgamesh, Buddha, Osiris, Dionysus, Genghis Khan, Jesus - they were all affirmed as sons of the Great Mother, of the Original One, their worldly power deriving from her. When the Hebrews used the word, and in the original Aramaic, it meant ‘maiden’ or ‘young woman’, with no connotations to sexual chastity. But later Christian translators could not conceive of the ‘Virgin Mary’ as a woman of independent sexuality, needless to say; they distorted the meaning into sexually pure, chaste, never touched.
The Toraja are an ethnic group indigenous to a mountainous region of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. They are best known for a row of fascinating funeral rituals.
In Toraja society, the funeral ritual is the most elaborate and expensive event. The death feast is usually attended by thousands and lasts for several days.
Torajans traditionally believe that death is not a sudden, abrupt event, but a gradual process toward Puya (the land of souls, or afterlife). During the waiting period, the body of the deceased is wrapped in several layers of cloth and kept in the family home. The soul of the deceased is thought to linger around the village until the funeral ceremony is completed, after which it begins its journey to Puya.
There are three methods of burial: the coffin may be laid in a cave or in a carved stone grave, or hung on a cliff.
It contains any possessions that the deceased will need in the afterlife. The wealthy are often buried in a stone grave carved out of a rocky cliff. The grave is usually expensive and takes a few months to complete. In some areas, a stone cave may be found that is large enough to accommodate a whole family. The coffin of a baby or child may be hung from ropes on a cliff face or from a tree. This hanging grave usually lasts for years, until the ropes rot and the coffin falls to the ground.
In the ritual called Ma’Nene, that takes place each year in August, the bodies of the deceased are exhumed to be washed, groomed and dressed in new clothes. The mummies are then walked around the village.
1. and 2. showing traditional burial places. (Source 2 and Source 1)
3. One of the trees with children “graves”. These trees provide a lot of resign and are believed to nurture those “too young to die” (Source)
4. Ma’Nene Ritual (Source)
For more information see Wikipedia
Hag stones, also known as Holey Stones or Witch Stones, are stones that have a naturally occurring hole and are usually found near oceans and other bodies of water. They are said to be powerful protection talismans, and when worn or carried they protect the bearer from curses, hexes, negative spirits, and harm. They have also been used to prevent nightmares, being strung on a bedpost or placed underneath pillows. It is also believed that if you peer through the hole of the stone that you can see the Fae Folk and otherworldly entities. If one broke, it is thought to have used its power to protect a life.