Monster Energy Drink Logo Decoded

Energy drinks have always scared me. I don’t know why, but I’ve always been nervous about trying any of them. Seriously, when did a breakfast of brownies and Mountain Dew stop being enough of a pick me up? Man, I miss my teenaged metabolism. So anyway, I’m a big energy drink ‘fraidy cat and I admit to it. However, if Suroh is to be believed, perhaps there is another more complex reason to explain my aversion to Monster Energy Drink.

Monster Energy Drink Logo Decoded

By Suroh
(Article was originally published on 12/4/10 at http://thesurohorus.tk/ and is used with the author’s permission.)
At some point, unbeknownst to me, Suroh’s website disappeared. However, we already had permission and the article so we have opted to still publish it. Update: The site is back up at this new address.

An Unholy Sacrament?Monster Energy drinks logo has deep roots in esoteric symbolism, if we examine the logo in total we will see how even a seemingly simple logo can hold vast amounts of symbolism. I would like to thank Freeman of FreemanTv.com for pointing this out to the public. After looking at the claws and noticing the hidden 666 symbolism I began to see much more hidden right before my eyes. I then decided to do a complete breakdown of the logo.

666 and the Claw Marks

When I first heard about the symbolism in the Monster logo, it was about a hidden 666 encoded within the 3 claw marks. At first this seems extremely far fetched and arbitrary, but when we examine the 3 claw marks which are glowing, they clearly resemble the 6th letter of the Hebrew Alphabet Vau (ו).

Vav

In the beginning of Creation, when Infinite Light filled all reality, G d contracted His Light to create hollow empty space, as it were, the “place” necessary for the existence of finite worlds. Into this vacuum God drew down, figuratively speaking, a single line of light, from the Infinite Source. This ray of light is the secret of the letter vav. Though the line is singular in appearance, it nonetheless possesses two dimensions, an external as well as an internal force, both of which take part in the process of Creation and the continuous interaction between the creative power and created reality.

The external force of the line is the power to differentiate and separate the various aspects of reality, thereby establishing hierarchical order, up and down, within Creation. The internal force of the line is the power to reveal the inherent interinclusion of the various aspects of reality, one in the other, thereby joining them together as an organic whole. This property of the letter vav, in its usage in Hebrew, is referred to as vav hachibur, the vav of connection”–”and.” The first vav of the Torah–”In the beginning G d created the heavens and [vav] the earth” serves to join spirit and matter, heaven and the earth, throughout Creation. This vav, which appears at the beginning of the sixth word of the Torah, is the twenty second letter of the verse. It alludes to the power to connect and interrelate all twenty-two individual powers of Creation, the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet from alef to tav. (The word et [which appears before the two instances of the word “the” in this verse, and is spelled alef-tav] is generally taken to represent all the letters of the alphabet, from alef to tav. Our Sages interpret the word in this verse to include all the various objects of Creation present within heaven and earth.)

To those who have no knowledge whatsoever of the Hebrew alphabet this encoded symbol would go unnoticed forever. It is also interesting to note that the letter Vau in Arabic looks like a 6 or 9 (و). In most ancient languages each letter had a numerical value and a symbolic value. In the case of the letter Vav its value is 6 and its symbol is Pin or Hook. As there are three claw marks or Vavs this can then be interpreted as “666″ numerically using classic Hebrew Gematria.

Here we have a simple rendering of the logo, but instead of the claw marks I remade the logo with the letter Vau. The similarities are extremely visible. The number 666 is associated with the Sun, as it is the Sum of all the numbers in its Magical Square. The glowing effect supports the Sun symbolism. Next I looked deeper into the meaning of the Vau. In Kabbalah each letter of the Hebrew alphabet is also associated with one of the 22 Trump cards of the Tarot. In the case of Vau it is associated with the Hierophant card.

V – The Hierophant

Path of Vau 16 in the Tree of Life Sun in Sagittarius as a symbol for the teacher of inner values, Jupiter in Pisces as the vision of eternity
Zodiac: Taurus
Tree of life: From Chokmah to Chesed
Element: Earth
Number: 5 as quintessence, the power that exceeds the four elements

The Hierophant is a symbol for a world of belief and confession, may it be a church, a sect or an occult society. He’s the pope, the druid or the High Priest in a system of creeds and dogmas. He represents the religious and intellectual tradition of a person, and may be the one the person is born to it or possibly the one who has chosen it by himself.

In the positive aspect, the Hierophant represents the search for knowledge and illumination, the desire to study creed and dogma instead of simply accepting them, to research and achieve further development. It also stands for the deep fulfillment someone can find when really trusting their own beliefs.

In a negative view, the Hierophant can stand for bigotry, the blind faith in dogma, intolerance towards everything different from the own confession. It can also mean gullibility, running to any kind of new belief just because the traditional one is suddenly considered boring or unsatisfying.

Stylized Letters

The first thing I noticed was the odd style of two letters in the word below the claw marks. The letter O in Monster has a t or cross over a U or half circle, this is to symbolize Saturn as it is an interpretation of the two shapes of the Saturn Symbol ♄. The symbol of Saturn itself can be broken down into two elements: a half circle and a cross. The half-circle meaning Soul (Spirit) and the cross meaning matter. As we move through the word the next letter that stands out is the letter “S”. This letter symbol is more apparent it looks very much like a “5″. On the Tree of Life the 5th Sephira is Strength (Geburah) which is associated with Mars and its attributes. In summary the word Monster contains hidden symbols corresponding to the planets Mars, and Saturn.

Planetary Energy

Here we have chart of the planets the associated correspondences (Sphere of Influence, Color Associations, and God Name).


Conclusion

By taking the above information into account we can now apply the symbolism to the Tree of Life and see the deeper meaning the symbol and the effect it is designed to create. The logo of Monster Energy drinks also has 3 hidden planetary glyphs aligning it with the Sun, Saturn and Mars which interestingly enough are all closely inter-connected on the Tree of Life. As we can see it forms a Triangle on the Left hand side of the tree which is the Negative or Baneful Side of the tree. Strength (Mars), 666 (Sun), Saturn (Material Power) and the Search for inner knowledge and enlightenment. All by simple changes in the letters and shapes which can and do go unnoticed by the everyday customer.

How good can this drink be for you after all?

Can the energies focused by the symbol on the cans influence the drinkers to be more negative and violent?

You decide!

To see more articles like this, visit http://suroh.tk/

Hooters and Goddess Worship?

Here’s the deal folks, I like Hooters. The restaurant, not the anatomy. However I think we can all agree that Salma Hayek’s are quite magnificent. Much the way people say they read Playboy for the articles (and let’s all admit that occasionally they do have great articles), people say they go to Hooters for the food. And you know what folks? Holy crap is their chicken delicious! I never had an aversion to Hooters, but I had just never found the reason to go there to eat. Then one weekday afternoon while out and about with my boyfriend (who became my husband) it was suggested that we go to Hooters for lunch. We had a pretty waitress, who honestly was lacking a little in the hooter department, that I kept thinking must be freezing in her outfit. It was also a touch odd to realize I was the only woman that was a customer. I had their Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and proclaimed that it was in fact the finest Buffalo Chicken Sandwich I’d ever had. It was good enough that I’m actually bummed that there is no longer a Hooters restaurant in the area. Sigh….

Anyway, my affection for Hooters is why I was so intrigued when I found an article called “Hooters and Goddess Worship?” on the Surohorus website. (Update: The site is now found here.) Despite admitting to never going to a Hooters (a bit of honesty I appreciate), Suroh makes some interesting points with regards to some of the symbolism associated with the restaurant chain. And although I doubt that by frequenting the establishment you run the risk of “eating something inedible and dying”, I am amused to now associate Hooters with Athena. When you consider the level of influence some of those waitresses have on their customers, perhaps them embodying a bit of the divine isn’t as far off as previously thought.

Hooters and Goddess Worship?

By Suroh
(Article was originally published on 11/28/10 at http://thesurohorus.tk/ and is used with the author’s permission.)

Introduction

Hooters restaurant is a standard sports bar aside from one thing, the wait staff is primarily made up of extremely attractive women usually scantily clothed. I myself have never been to a Hooters before but I am more than sure most males growing up in North America have heard about the chain on TV or in the movies. The attractive women are more than capable to keep everyone minds occupied for the time within the doors of a Hooters restaurant as the “Customers” are kept in a daze fantasizing about the waitresses. Little do the men know they are taking part in an ancient rite of goddess worship.

Sexual Innuendo

The name Hooters is a term originally used to refer to an Owl. In the modern age it has been known to take a quite a different meaning…or is it just understood too simply?

Hooter
•One that hoots, especially an owl.
•hooters Vulgar Slang. A woman’s breasts.

Sex sells right? It is common practice for advertising and marketers to veil sexual innuendo to keep the prospective customers attention. Proof is this is the complete disconnect of commercials themselves and the actual product they are actually selling. It’s the old magicians trick. Occupy the mark (person) with something trivial that will draw them in order to manipulate them better towards your real goal. It happens every day. For example buy one get one free, 20% Off*On Selected Merchandise only. Almost always it comes with a catch where the deal is no where near as good as what was claimed. In my experience utilities (Phone and Internet) companies are the worse known for this. But that’s a whole article in itself.

The Symbol of the Goddess

The logo for the Hooters chain is an Owl. Owls have been identified with many ancient gods, for example Athena in Greek mythology the goddess of war, civilization, wisdom, strength, strategy, crafts, justice and skill. Hera, another ancient Greek goddess, is also associated with the Owl.

Hera (HEE-ruh or HER-uh), Roman name Juno.
Hera was the goddess of marriage, the wife of Zeus and the Queen of the Olympians. Enemy of Heracles, she sent snakes to attack him when he was still an infant and later stirred up the Amazons against him when he was on one of his quests. On the other hand, Hera aided the hero Jason.

In Greek mythology, Hera was the reigning female goddess of Olympus because she was Zeus’s wife. But her worship is actually far older than that of her husband. It goes back to a time when the creative force we call “God” was conceived of as a woman. The Goddess took many forms, among them that of a bird.

Then when we take a look at the symbol from a global perspective of all beliefs/symbolism about the Owl, a much different pattern is discovered. In many cultures including the Aztecs, Africa, and Arabia the owl is considered a unbalanced symbol or a “negative” omen as it is a creature of the night and thus darkness. In essence the Owl represents unbalanced Male force. This again supports the exact environment existing when inside a Hooters restaurant.

Conclusion

Almost every public place we go has currents of metaphysical energy brought about and utilized to create and encourage certain types or styles of behavior. In most cases this is not negative or positive, it just is, but most importantly in order for it to remain neutral it is good to be aware of the influences being pressed upon you just as you monitor the types of things you eat in order to not eat something inedible and die.

To see more articles like this, visit http://suroh.tk/.

A Love Letter to Froggy

Article by Rebecca
Image by Will Hobbs (www.sirwilliamwesley.com)

Funny thing about kids, you never can guess what stuffed animal they’ll latch onto. It’s rarely what you would suspect. In my case it was a stuffed beagle that I called “Beans” and showed my affection for by repeatedly chewing off his nose. When good friends of mine had a son, my husband and I bought him a teddy bear. Not just any teddy bear, a Brookstone n-a-p teddy bear. This teddy bear is made out of the softest, most cuddly materials available to man. (They don’t carry the exact bear anymore, but here’s a link to a comparable bear.) In fact, as most parents know, that kid was showered in adorable stuffed animals ranging from traditional, like our teddy bear, to traditional, like the stuffed animals his parents cuddled as kids. In that sea of plush cuddlies what does the kid latch onto? A plush frog. He calls him “Froggy” or perhaps “Froggie”. I would ask him, but he is just learning to spell now, no need to add more stress to that process. Now I have nothing against Froggy (Froggie), he was adorable right from the start, even if now the child’s affections have left him a little matted and stinky. Hey, I chewed the nose off of my doll, repeatedly, I’m not judging. All of this is an elaborate introduction to why I’ve decided to discuss the symbolism of frogs and toads.

As you may suspect, I have a very elaborate creative process. One that is sustained primarily by celebrity gossip websites, the television show “Better Off Ted”, and rum. I’ll let you in on the “behind-the-scenes” process for this article. I realized, hey, it has been a while since I wrote about some sort of symbol. I pulled down a big stack of books filled with symbols and started flipping through them. While flipping through my copy of “The Complete Encyclopedia of Signs & Symbols” by Mark O’Connell and Raje Airey I came across an entry for frogs and toads. I immediately went “Froggy!” (or perhaps “Froggie!”) Because anyone who has spent time around little kids knows that you start to talk like them. Thusly, a frog, regardless of how life-like the illustration, or very real it is, they are Froggy (or maybe Froggie). Much the way I and his mother say that we are going to “Eat. Eat.” and “Play. Play.” despite the fact that even the child no longer speaks with that young a voice. So as odd as this may seem, somehow my simple quest to write about a symbol has turned into a bit of an open letter of affection to Jacob…the first little kid that didn’t seem to hate me on sight. (Aunt Rebecca loves you. And as soon as you’re old enough, I will loan you all of my Chow Yun Fat movies, because that’s how much I care. Just don’t tell Mom and Dad.) With that abnormal show of affection out of the way, let’s examine the symbolism surrounding this amphibian that a 3 year-old can’t go to sleep without.

First, since I’ll be looking at both frogs and toads, the obvious question is, what is the difference between frogs and toads. Typing that question into Google brought me to, I swear I’m not making this up, allaboutfrogs.org. They say:

One of the most common questions is, “What is the difference between Frogs and Toads?” Most are surprised to hear that all Toads actually are Frogs!

Hey, I am surprised! Good job allaboutfrogs.org! Armed with this new internet information I will proceed to discuss both frogs and toads. As surprised as I was by allaboutfrogs.org’s info, I am far more surprised at all the different associations for frogs and toads. Who knew frogs had more going for them than plush animals and Kermit?

Let’s start with the general “frogs and toads are bad” angle. Toads, with their habit of avoiding the sun and preference of damp dark places seem an unsavory lot. It doesn’t help that their secretions can be toxic. In European superstition the toad was linked with death, and was often shown in art with a skull or skeleton. The Church, with their 7 Deadly Sins, took frogs and toads (generally associated with fertility in most cultures) and used them in art that personified lust. Art associated with lust shows a naked woman with snakes and toads feeding on her breasts and genitals. It is really just a hop between all that death and evil sexuality to lead straight into the link between frogs and toads and witches and witchcraft. The stereotypical old world “witch” had the skin appearance of a toad. Common folklore lists frogs and toads as familiars of witches and the Devil, and a creature that witches can transform themselves into. During the Great Plague of 1563 dried toads were used as amulets in England when Dr. George Thomson claimed to have cured himself by using one to absorb the “putrefactive ferment”. I can’t help but wonder if good Dr. Thomson thought toads so evil and loathsome that surely they would interact with the vileness of the Plague.

Enough about Medieval Europe and the Church and all those Western hang ups. For much of the world the frog and toad are good things. As you may remember from your school biology lessons, frogs lay many eggs. I don’t quite know how modern man feels about that, but back when humans were just trying make sense of the natural world many eggs equaled fertility. Egypt has Heket (Heqet, Hekit), the frog goddess of birth and fertility. She’s often depicted as an attractive woman with the head of a frog. Frogs like the water, and rain makes the land fertile, thusly frogs are rainmakers. The Chinese and Peruvians used frog images to call up rain showers, and the Mayans and Aztecs viewed the frog as a water deity whose croaking predicted and made rain. The frog was the lord of the earth and represented the curative powers of water for the Celts.

Another basic frog fact is that they go through a transformation: egg, tadpole, and frog. The moon, as we all know, goes through transformations as well, it’s phases. Mix those two things together and you can see how in Japan the frog is associated with lunar eclipses and in China, instead of the “man in the moon”, they have a toad in the moon. It’s believed that from the frog’s natural ability to transform is how it became to be featured prominently in folklore and fairy tales. Kiss the frog and it transforms into a handsome prince or beautiful princess, or conversely, be a misbehaving prince or princess and get changed into a frog. The Chinese and Japanese associate frogs with magic.

However, the Chinese take it up another level. In China the frog is associated with magic and is the face of the moon. Knowing that you can see how the adorable Chinese Moon Frog came into being. He’s the adorable frog with the coin in his mouth that you see in curio shops. The Chinese Moon Frog attracts wealth and longevity. Sometimes the frog has a coin in its mouth which attracts wealth and wards off evil spirits. In an almost perfect blending of all the aspects of frog symbolism, in Roman times frog amulets were used to protect homes and their occupants and to sustain romance and love.

Only time will tell what Froggy (or Froggie) will bring into Jacob’s life. The frog is fraught with perils, but offers up rich rewards. I guess Kermit was right, “It’s not that easy being green.”

10 Questions with The Vigilant Citizen

1. What made you decide to discuss occult symbolism through the prism of pop music, and particularly music videos?

My two passions in life are music and occult history. If I’m not focusing on one, I’m most probably focusing on the other. The more I gain knowledge on western occultism, the more I understand its importance in pop music. The weird or strange symbols I saw on album covers or music videos become easily readable. I collect old vinyls from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and I’ve noticed a great number those groups integrated this knowledge in their songs and artwork. It was done in an artistic way. I’ve however noticed a different type of occult symbolism in recent videos: it is used by mainstream pop artists, insidiously hidden and aimed at a young crowd. Far from being artistic, the imagery used in videos pushed by international media corporations is often deceptive and inherently sinister. I felt the urge to discuss those taboo issues so I’ve created Vigilant Citizen.

2. Do you feel the prevalence of occult symbolism found in pop music comes from the artists and video directors, or is it a coincidence stemming from occult symbolism seeping into the general consciousness?

I believe there are two types of occult symbols: the “artistic” ones – emanating from a desire to express one’s reality through symbolism – and the “corporate” ones – which often come from elite secret societies. A true artist using symbolism to in his/her art will be inspired by his/her surroundings and his/her inner being. Occult symbols are extremely powerful and are believed to be embedded in our subconscious so it is only normal for them to appear in artistic expression.

However, “corporate” occultism takes symbols from organized secret societies such as Freemasonry, or Illuminati and “plants” into mass media in order for them to become the norm. Confucius said “Symbols rule the world, not words nor laws”. In other words, you can recognize who is truly in power by identifying the symbols in popular culture. During the Middle Ages, almost all of popular art was religious and Christian. The Christian Church ruled the Western World.

Now, occult symbolism is increasingly apparent in popular art. Who rules the world? Occult secret societies.

3. I loved your interpretation of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video. Did you see dream analyst Carolyn Wills’ discussion of the video on Leslie Gornstein’s “Answer B!tch” blog? Thoughts?

I’ve read a couple of interpretations of Bad Romance and I can’t say that any of them is flat out wrong. Good art can have multiple layers of interpretations and, I have to say, this video is good art. When it came out, many readers of the site bombarded me with e-mails, pointing out symbols I’ve discussed in other videos. Bad Romance is definitively part of a bigger “movement” in music videos.

4. Often times the occult symbolism you find in music videos paints a dark and ominous picture. However, your analysis of The Black Eyed Peas “Meet Me Halfway” is actually quite uplifting. Does this mean that occultism doesn’t automatically equal bad?

Occult means “hidden”, not “bad”. Occult schools believe esoteric knowledge is too powerful for the profane to dabble with it. So it is kept hidden, the same way mothers hide knives from young kids. It is for their own safety. According to occult schools this knowledge can lead you to two extremes and everything in between: it can liberate you from the shackles of materiality, put you in direct contact with divinity and make you nothing less than immortal… Or it can also make you deal with demons, black magic and leave you into eternal torment.

“Meet Me Halfway” seemed to portray this positive side of esoteric knowledge. It is indeed quite uplifting.

5. In your post “The Occult Roots of The Wizard of Oz” you say, “the entire story of the Wizard of Oz is an allegorical tale of the soul’s path to illumination – the Yellow Brick Road.” However I feel that it could be argued that the concept of the “hero’s quest” or “hero’s journey” can be found before the Theosophical movement. Is this a what came first, the chicken or the egg kind of debate? What came first, the spiritual concept or the basic storytelling device?

Theosophy is nothing more than an attempt to find the common underlying knowledge found in ancient religions. It did not create any new concepts; it tried to put them together in a cohesive way.

Almost all ancient civilizations had allegorical tales which could be fully understood through the glasses of esoteric philosophy. Whether we look at Egyptian mythology, Greek epic poems or Native American legends, there is a “face value” meaning and a hidden meaning that can only be understood by initiates. The Wizard of Oz is what we can call an American allegorical tale.

6. Was there any nefarious occult symbolism in Miley Cyrus’s 2009 Teen Choice Awards performance? Because honestly, that was just evil.

Didn’t watch that, sorry.

7. Do you look at books and film with the same eye towards recognizing occult symbolism? If so, the Twilight series…discuss. Obviously werewolves are rife for the teenage males confronting puberty analogy, and vampires originally reared their fanged heads as a nifty way to confront sexual themes in repressive societies, but did Mormon author Stephenie Meyer accidentally push any big occult buttons?

I’d have to read the books to give a definite answer on Twilight’s underlying meaning (it there’s any). I’ve however watched both movies and I can say there is a definite use of “occult lore” in the movie but it is all done in a very superficial matter.

I think the movies focus on tapping into the primal needs of young girls (and not so young) such as: fascination with the mysterious and dangerous, feeling protected by a strong man, attraction towards the “forbidden fruit” and….oh yea, watching a bunch of shirtless guys.

8. Lady Gaga and Rihanna have both been big on your website as of late. Who is going to be the next artist trending heavy with occult symbolism?

Taylor Swift and Adam Lambert. They are definitively next.

9. I’m going to be honest with you, and in turn, some honesty for me. I love Lady Gaga and own both “The Fame” and “The Fame Monster”. Does Lady Gaga ever make its way onto your CD player?

Honestly, not in my CD player…I…I..just can’t. But I can’t say I get mad when one her songs come up in a dance club. Her music is has better production value than most of the crap out there.

10. Parting shot! Ask us at The Magical Buffet any one question.

OK, you’ve asked for it! Have you ever witness true magic resulting from a magical spell or ritual? If so, can you describe the event?

Alas, I have never witnessed what I would consider true magic.

About The Vigilant Citizen:
My quest for knowledge led me to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Politics. I’ve mainly studied the way power uses mass media to shape and mold attitudes of the general public. My education was perfect to hold a job in marketing or PR but did not satisfy my thirst for truth.

My efforts to further understand the forces governing the world lead me to study secret societies, mystery religions, esoteric sciences and ancient civilizations. I’ve spent the last five years researching Theosophy, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, the Bavarian Illuminati and Western Occultism. These schools of thoughts have many things in common: they are based on Hermetic teachings (Hermes, Thoth, Enoch, Mercury), they attach EXTREME importance to symbolism and they recruit within their ranks the most prominent people of all fields of society, especially politics, law and public service. The natural result of this phenomenon is the display of occult symbolism in all aspects of society, whether it be music, movies, buildings or else. My goal is to bring out the meaning of those symbols in a clear, concise and entertaining way.

I am also a music producer who has composed music for some fairly known “urban” artists. My work in the music business has led me to deal with talent agents, video directors and record companies. Through my experiences and my contacts, I have discovered some of the darker aspects of the entertainment industry which I found were in direct connection with my studies in occultism. My understanding of the state of mind that prevails in the higher levels of the ladder makes it probably easier for me to decifer the symbolism in music videos than it is for everyday people.

Learn more at The Vigilant Citizen’s website.

My Many Menorahs

Since the Jewish holiday Hanukkah begins at sundown tomorrow, I thought now would be a good time to spend a moment or two discussing the menorah. I love menorahs. I may be what theologians refer to as a “bad Jew”, but what I lack in knowledge and devotion I surely make up for in sheer volume of menorahs in my home. It started out as a burden, having loads of menorah around the apartment, but now I couldn’t imagine getting rid of any of them.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the menorah, let me bring you up to speed. Hanukkah is the celebration of the Maccabees liberating Jerusalem in 165 B.C.E. After liberating the Temple of Jerusalem, the Maccabees wanted to light the perpetual light with seven branches, but it had been destroyed. They built a temporary candelabrum but they only had one flask of oil to fuel it. However, it kept the candles lit for eight days rather than one. Hanukkah, at its most basic, is the celebration of efficient fuels.

In modern times when Jews celebrate Hanukkah (meaning dedication) they light a menorah. The menorah is an eight branched candelabrum; with a ninth spot for the shamash, which is for the candle used to light the other candles. Each night a candle is lit to signify the days that the oil lasted. Hanukkah is actually a minor festival in the Jewish faith, but due to it’s proximity to Christmas it’s been kind of sucked up into a “Hanukkah is the Jewish Christmas” vacuum of commercialism. Not that this lady is complaining. I may be a “bad Jew”, but I still get Hanukkah presents!

Anyway, I really do like menorahs. You can find them in all shapes and sizes. And when the candles are all lit, it is a very beautiful sight. I thought I would share mine with you.

To all of our Jewish readers, Happy Hanukkah!

The Blog of the Seven Veils

illustrated by Will Hobbs

Veils. Has there ever been such a complex piece of cloth? Essentially a veil is just a piece of fabric that traditionally covers the hair and/or face, and yet it means many things to many people. For some a veil conjures up the image of sensual belly dance, for others an emblem of paying proper respect to their religious faith. Not everyone has taken the time to think about veils and their symbolism, but with such a long and varied history the only thing to be certain of is that everyone can find a veil they like.

According to my favorite anonymous resource, Wikipedia, the first recorded example of women wearing veils is in a legal text from the 13th century BCE, which stated that only Assyrian noble women were allowed to wear veils. Common women and prostitutes were forbidden from wearing them. In fact, the idea of women of higher status wearing veils was also practiced by the ancient Greeks.

In modern times, veils are often pinned to hats worn by widows at funerals and through whatever designated period of mourning is appropriate after the burial. And of course, everyone thinks about the wedding veil that brides wear. The veil is a symbol of purity and, if worn by the bride, when the bride’s face is revealed by the father lifting the veil, it’s a gesture of handing over possession of his daughter to the groom, when lifted by the groom, it signifies what will be taking place in the marriage bed, you know, when the clothing comes off!

Often times, in traditional Catholic or Christian churches, women are encouraged to cover their heads, which means that for many, attending church means wearing a hat or veil. Oddly, men are to remove their hats when attending church. Apparently it has something to do with Corinthians and how man is in the image of God, so he shouldn’t be all ashamed and covered, but woman is the glory of God…which you would think that would be good enough to show your hair, but what do I know? I wouldn’t have even known about Corinthians if it wasn’t for Wikipedia again!

Married Orthodox Jewish women, in compliance with the covering head requirement, related to the modest dress standard called tzeniut, cover their hair by using wigs, hats, and scarves (Which can be awfully veil like, right?). Why do they do it, what does it symbolize? I don’t know. I’m Jewish, but I’m what’s called in theological parlance a “bad Jew”. If any of my Jewish peeps know the skinny on the tzeniut and why Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair, leave an informative comment at the end of the article!

Let’s be honest, the war in Afghanistan has really introduced the concept of Muslim veiled women to the west. In fact, in the Muslim world the ladies rock so many varied veils that I can’t keep the names straight! And that’s why I’m just going to flat out quote the Wikipedia entry here.

“A variety of headdresses worn by Muslim women in accordance with hijab (the principle of dressing modestly) are sometimes referred to as veils. Many of these garments cover the hair, ears and throat, but do not cover the face. The khimar is a type of headscarf. The niqāb and burqa are two kinds of veils that cover most of the face except for a slit or hole for the eyes. The Afghan burqa covers the entire body, obscuring the face completely, except for a grille or netting over the eyes to allow the wearer to see. The boshiya is a veil that may be worn over a headscarf; it covers the entire face and is made of a sheer fabric so the wearer is able to see through it.”

Now if you think I’m a bad Jew, you won’t be amazed to learn that I’m super less than an expert on the Muslim faith, but here’s my stab at talking hijab. Women of Islam were instructed to cover themselves when they go out so that everyone will know they’re women and will be left alone and not harassed. I’ve also been given to believe that the basic concept is that because women are so hot (as in sexually attractive, not in measurable temperature) and that men are so easily distracted, that women being covered when in the presence of men who are not family is just the smart way of doing business. If any readers have the 411 on the practice and perhaps symbolism of this kind of veil, leave a message in the comments section so we can all learn something new!

Obviously these days discussing the veiling of Islamic women is an issue of religion, politics, and civil rights. Guess what I’m not going to do? Stick my head into the middle of all of it. Let me just say, there are days when the idea of not worrying about my clothes, hair, or make-up is appealing, as long as it’s my decision when to cover it up and when to flaunt it.

So what the heck do we have here? A symbol of purity, of mourning, of social status, of marital status, of faith, of sensuality. Now that’s a heck of a lot for one square of fabric!

The Halo – That Glow!

by Rebecca
illustrated by Will Hobbs

What is a halo? Well, according to my sources (known as Wikipedia.org), “A halo is an optical phenomenon that appears near or around the Sun or Moon, and sometimes near other strong light sources such as street lights. There are many types of optical halos, but they are mostly caused by ice crystals in cold cirrus clouds located high in the upper troposphere. The particular shape and orientation of the crystals is responsible for the type of halo observed. Light is reflected and refracted by the ice crystals and may split up into colors because of dispersion, similarly to the rainbow.” Let’s face it, although cool, that’s not what any of us think of when we’re asked “What is a halo?”

It’s that gold circle that floats above an angel’s head, duh. However, let’s take a little time to explore how it got there.

If you take a little time to think about it, you’ll realize you’ve seen haloes other places besides atop an angel’s head. Haloes were originally depicted as flat discs behind an individuals head, not floating above like these days. A flat golden disc is a sun, right? You got it, the Egyptian sun god Ra and Mithras, an ancient pre-Christianity sun god, both are depicted with haloes. So here you have a bunch of pre-Christianity/pagan deities running around with haloes, what’s an emerging religion to do?

That’s right, get themselves some haloes. Pagans, including Buddhists and Hindus, worship deities with haloes, so haloes must be part of their divinity. Once determined that a halo symbolizes sanctity, divinity, and light, all kinds of folks were getting them: Jesus, Mary, saints, popes, emperors, anyone who needs to be shown with the glow of the divine, including angels.

That, combined with a trend towards more realistic details in art, created the floating rings of light above the head.

By the way, when the whole body is surrounded in a glowing aura, for example as Jesus is often depicted, that’s not a halo, it’s a mandorla. Many people associate this full body halo as an indication of power, divine or otherwise. Like this, for example…..

See, he’s got the “glow”. Perhaps he’s got his chi working. Although technically that wasn’t a true mandorla. Mandorlas are almond shaped. But I think you’ll agree that was more fun!

If you have a little time, the Wikipedia entry about haloes is an interesting look at religion influencing art influencing religion. Here’s the link.

And for those of you who suddenly find yourself thinking, I should totally watch the movie “The Last Dragon” (where the clip above came from), let me remind you why that’s not really necessary.

Too cheesy…..
Must navigate away from page…..

Another Wheel

by Rebecca
illustration by Will Hobbs

In December of 2006, shortly after The Magical Buffet launched, I wrote an article about the Wheel of Life. I found this visual roadmap to enlightenment fascinating and have wanted to revisit Tibetan Buddhism ever since. Well, hold onto your wheels Buffet fans because after roughly two years Buddhist symbolism is back! It’s time to look at the Wheel of Law.

The Wheel of Law is also referred to as the Dharmachakra or Wheel of Dharma. Unlike the Wheel of Life, which is wheel-shaped and can been seen as making nods to the cyclic nature of humans, the Wheel of Law is a more accurate wheel in the fact that motion is implied by this symbol. Many Buddhists believe that the wheel’s motion is in accord with the evolution of Buddhism’s effects on humanity and the world around us. The Wheel of Law was first turned when the Buddha shared his original teachings in the Deer Park. This is where Buddha acquired his disciples and is why the Wheel of Law frequently is depicted with a deer on each side of it. However, just like the Wheel of Life, this wheel is a map to enlightenment.
The Wheel of Law looks like a classic steering wheel of a ship with eight spokes. The eight spokes represent the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. The hub represents discipline and the rim, which holds the spokes, represents mindfulness, which holds everything together. This wheel is so important to Buddhism that before there were images of the Buddha, the Wheel of Law was used in artwork to represent Buddha. In fact, this wheel rates high enough to get its own mudra, a symbolic gesture used in Buddha images as well during Buddhist meditation or ritual to evoke particular ideas. The U.S. Armed Forces use the Wheel of Law as the insignia for a Buddhist chaplain. Buddhist chaplain? I gotta’ get me an interview with one of those!

Circles, and images of circular things, are found everywhere symbolically, but when it comes to wheels, I think the Buddhists may be the kingpins of that particular circular symbol.

This Symbol Does the Body Good

Article by Rebecca
Image by Will Hobbs (www.sirwilliamwesley.com)

Milk does the body good, it’s not just an ad campaign. It provides the primary source of nutrition for newborns before they are able to digest other types of food. Breast milk carries the mother’s antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many diseases for them. It’s true that humans are the only mammals that continue to consume milk after we can eat solid foods, but come on, a liquid this rich with symbolism…and calcium….is hard to resist!

Just about every human culture has viewed milk as a symbol of fertility. It makes a lot of sense, it’s the substance that helps new life grow. There was an ancient Irish tradition of immersing a child into milk. This was based on the belief that its spirit was formed through being breastfed. Why do you think all those goddess associated with fertility have such large breasts, or in some cases more than two breasts? It’s not just sex appeal, it’s milk production!

Seriously, I’m beginning to think breakfast, with it’s penchant for using eggs and milk, might not only be the most important, but also the most fertile meal of the day!

Are You Reading This?

Seriously, does anybody read The Magical Buffet? I mean besides you. Again, another organization could have been spared my wrath if they had just taken two minutes to read my article about the swastika.

On August 11, 2008 TMZ ran a photo of Jamie Foxx holding a surf board with the title of “Did Jamie Foxx “Not See” the Swastika?” The surf board in question is covered with hearts, peace signs, a hexagram (Star of David, perhaps?), and yes, a swastika. They say, “It’s (the surf board) almost as offensive as his swim cap.” Guess what? The board is not offensive, the swim cap, maybe.

So, just like I did with Zara, I’d like to direct TMZ’s attention to my article “It’s OK we’re taking it back: The Swastika”. I was happy to see that some people who commented on the TMZ post knew that Foxx wasn’t a secret Nazi.

When a swastika is surrounded by hippy scribbles, it’s doubtful it’s being used as a Nazi symbol. I’m just sayin’…..