Archive for the 'Mythology' Category

The armored bikini of your nightmares is a lie

It’s finally spring. What better topic than chastity belts? 😉

 

Here’s another nice piece from our clever friends at Atlas Obscura

 

A chastity belt caricature from 1590 (Image: Heinrich Wirrich/Wikimedia)

A chastity belt caricature from 1590 (Image: Heinrich Wirrich/Wikimedia)

 

Everything You’ve Heard About Chastity Belts Is a Lie

by Sarah Laskow

 

“What was the chastity belt? You can picture it; you’ve seen it in many movies and heard references to it across countless cultural forms. There’s even a Seattle band called Chastity Belt. In his 1969 book Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask), David R. Reuben described it as an “armored bikini” with a “screen in front to allow urination and an inch of iron between the vagina and temptation.” “The whole business was fastened with a large padlock,” he wrote. With this device, medieval men going off to medieval wars could be assured that their wives would not have sex with anyone else where they were far, far away, for years at a time.

 

Yes, it sounds simultaneously ridiculous, barbarous and extremely unhygienic, but…medieval men, you know? It was a different time.

 

This, at least, has been the story that’s been told for hundreds of years. It’s simple, shocking, and, on some level, fun, in that it portrays past people as exceeding backwards and us, by extension, as enlightened and just better. It’s also, mostly likely, very wrong….”

 

For the rest, and some very interesting pictures, click here.

 

 

 

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The Alchemy Museum of Prague

If you needed one more good reason to visit Prague, here it is!

 

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From Dangerous Minds,

 

Of Man, myth and magic: Prague’s creepy alchemy museum

 

“In 1576, Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II chose Prague to be his home. More than any other person, Rudolf made Prague a hotbed of alchemical interest. Rudolf lived in the Prague Castle, where he welcomed not only astrologers and magicians but also scientists, musicians, and artists. In addition to noted alchemists Edward Kelley and John Dee, Prague was also home to the astronomers Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler, the painter Arcimboldo, the poet Elizabeth Jane Weston, among others. Rudolf arguably spawned the most intense period of occult activity in history.

 

If you want to know more about the reign of Rudolf II, you could do a lot worse than Peter Marshall’s The Magic Circle of Rudolf II: Alchemy and Astrology in Renaissance Prague.

 

Celebrating this alchemical contributions of Rudolf II is the Museum of Alchemists and Magicians of Old Prague, located at Jansky Vrsek 8 on the western side of the Vltava. The museum consists of two levels of displays and tableaux that document Rudolf’s alchemists in Prague, especially Kelley. (There is a sister museum called the Speculum Alchemiae Museum, but that’s on the other side of the river, at Hastalska 1.)

 

Quoting Altas Obscura,

 

The main floor has displays and replica artifacts of the trade alongside such fantastical scenes as a failed magician being stolen up into the ceiling by the Devil while cackling sorcerers huddle around the glowing runes beneath. The second floor, which claims to be the actual tower where the real Kelley performed his esoteric experiments if decked out like an alchemists lab, all aged scrolls and stacked grimoires, complete with a half-completed homunculus, the ultimate alchemical achievement. The museum is more than a little sensational in its presentation, but to be fair these alchemists were likely more than a little bit showmen themselves. What better way to remember and learn about their arcane history than with a little bit of magical realism?

 

Here’s a peek at some of the treasures within…”

 

For the rest, and many bizarre pictures, click here.

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The Thin White Duke & The Occult

The Thin White Duke’s occult leanings are explored in this very in-depth piece. There is so much in the media right now about our dearly departed David Bowie, it’s quite difficult to sort through it all – but this article has much in it that was previously unknown to us. Enjoy…

 

P.S. The comments associated with this article are an interesting blend of insanity – we chose to ignore them.

 

R.I.P Beautiful soul. We will miss you.

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The Occult Universe of David Bowie and the Meaning of “Blackstar”

By VC

 

“In the wake of David Bowie’s death, his last album, “Blackstar”, is his swan song, an enigmatic conclusion to a career punctuated by otherworldly alter-egos and esoteric symbolism. We’ll look at the meaning of “Blackstar” in the context of David Bowie’s career.

 

Very few artists can boast the longevity of David Bowie in the music industry, as his career spanned over five decades and produced 28 albums. Throughout the decades, Bowie migrated from one musical genre to another, and even from one persona to another, but a constant remained: He was surrounded by an otherworldly aura.

 

Through his work, Bowie turned himself into a musical ‘ascended master’, a Gnostic Christ-like figure who achieved a high level of illumination and who sought to communicate a cryptic message to humanity. While many of Bowie’s eccentricities could be attributed to drugs and rock and roll, one cannot paint a complete picture of this artist without mentioning his most enduring obsession: Western occultism.

 

David Bowie, born as David Robert Jones in 1947, is seen by some as a sort of ‘Renaissance Man’ whose professed ‘universality’ is an attempt to show the apex of evolution by reassembling the fragmentary pieces of our society; thus, he resembles many occultists.

However unlike most occultists, Bowie has considerable wealth, critical acclaim, penetrating intelligence, and enduring good looks; he seems set to go on to even greater heights and achievements. What next, godhead? There is a Faustian/Mephistophelean element here. How else can one explain the absolute zenith of this man’s worldly trajectory? In fact, there are people who are convinced that his brobdingnagian success is not without some kind of otherworldly assistance. (…)

Nevertheless, it can not be ignored that Bowie has constructed his public persona from the various parts of the puzzle that are at the roots of modern occultism. He was summoning up some of these pieces at the early age of 16.

– Peter R. Koenig, The Laughing Gnostic – David Bowie and the Occult

 

Throughout his career, Bowie often turned himself into a mere vessel as he lent his body to various personas who spoke through him, often communicating messages of deep occult significance…”

 

For the rest, click here.

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