Thursday, February 24, 2011

Invoke the Household Gods. Explore Plan B. The Lost Tribe of Dan

Historic Merit:  The Human Experience.
 Retaining Some Elements of the Past in Times of Change

Expand the concept, of what from the past, in some way, 
could be useful to the present. Then take it along.

I.  Overview. 

When the traditions of Plan A fail, look again at Plan B.  Who would object to that practicality? What elements from a past might rise to the occasion of the present, without betrayal of principle? What have others found useful in countering fear and threat, including fear of the new, threat of change.  
  • Example:  The maligned Tribe of Dan.  
 A priest took along some household gods of the indigenous people, but did not worship them.  Not a text at all about that "worship" -- just that they were put in the suitcases.

Why not take them along? 

Old reminders can be comfort, like our old scrapbooks retrieved in a flood.  Yet, the Tribe of Dan is accused by those of agenda,  of worshiping pagan gods because a priest took some along.  Ridiculous.  Maybe he got them from a friend, for heaven's sake. 

Other condemn the Tribe of Dan because the Book of  Revelation does not list the Tribe of Dan, so they are damned.  Nuts.  Maybe they didn't have the new address.  Google it, people. Find it here, perhaps.

We suggest that "Dan" was so well established elsewhere by that time, that nobody who wrote Revelation had any idea.  

There goes Dan -- Up the Danube and beyond.  Good for Dan. But out of memory or knowledge of those left to write Revelation.  

We could care less about who is in Revelation or not:  end times is not something important to us.  Evil in the form of exploitation and deceit ring our chimes. But others do care, so look at the issue of whether we can write an entire people off; because of our own arbitrary interpretations.

Look to others' view of universals.  There may be merit.  Can that aspect be included anew.

The True is in acknowledging ambiguity: 
that there is not one answer.

The False is in created certainty: institutional dogma and doctrine.

I.  Fear and threat: Meet it by carrying along old gods, for memory, for comfort.  It is not necessarily "worship" of an old era. 

In the flood, grab the scrapbook.

Fear and threat. Part of the human condition.  Some address it, and the need to walk through it, by holding several options open.  Others address it by denying any path but a chosen one, disregarding experience of the past in other ways.   No person can self-actualize while feeling fear or threat, says Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Need Levels, see human needs at   First, we need basics, food, clothing, shelter, sustenance items; then we can move on to self-actualizing -- aesthetics, finer things.  Never underestimate the power of fear and threat in directing and redirecting human effort.

A. Here we look at how the past addressed fear and threat:  by installing and carrying about the gods of the household when the family moved; and in its customs for the family, wedlock, children.  Our example is the Roman gods and goddesses pantheon, and rituals.

That is our focus here.  And as we look back, it becomes a natural to see what we do today to counter fear and threat. What approaches dominate the news, the propaganda machines. See below.

II. How do we address fear and threat today in terms of philosophy? 

Vet traditional interpretations of texts, secular and religious.  These cite references for more detail, and for now, just mention them.

A.  Ayn Rand.  HIghly flawed.

Meet rational selfishness, secular objectivism, espoused by the current GOP and Tea's, with a morality fostering individual license; and rejecting obligation to use one's wealth for the needs of others: but somehow accepting (ignoring) that freedom extending, as she extends it, to the hostess having full control over her body, including as to abortion, see

She rejects compassion, altruism, and advocates the individual in pursuit of the individual's interest, others be damned. That is gaining traction.  Wholesale rejection of old ways.  See 

B.  Ideological self-serving interpretations of scripture.  

Add weird interpretations to perfectly normal events.

Meet the gap-fillers; religious theorists who take ambiguous and incomplete Biblical stories and fill in details and make conclusions to fit a desired ideology.

1.   Revisit the example of the maligned Tribe of Dan.  

Dan has been long damned because one of the priests took along some of the areas indigenous ''for having taken and set up certain graven images (is that why they are excluded from Revelation, as stated by many of the agenda-ed?), e.g.

The idea of carrying memory along to new places is an old one, and valid.

There is a human need to retain ties, is that so?  It means continuity, and not necessarily "worship" of that past.   There is a higher likelihood of survival if some of the customs of the new group are observed, is that also so.

And if Jehovah made no objection at the time,  then the interpretation against the Tribe of Dan is just to create more fear and threat. Find your Bible. Look up Judges 16-19.

The Tribe of Dan bringing along a priest who was also respectful and observant as to other gods -- Jehovah had no objection, and the Tribe was far less fierce than others who ran over locals in order to claim their inheritance.  

2.  The example of Papal infallibility.

Someone says he is inspired.  Say, Peter, as in Apostle, who was an eyewitness.  And even eyewitness accounts are suspect, subject to influence and agenda, as we well know, see issue laid out at; and now to be heard by the Supreme Court, see

Are all others -- say, Paul, and all the rest who were not there, but who lay hands on each other's heads also inspired? See  Entire areas of Biblical text that do not address issues to meet the needs of the institution, are filled in; and the canon itself is selected by excluding contrary viewpoints, is that so? 



Do we do, as the Romans did.  Do we carry about our household gods -- objects and ideas we absolutely can't do without, and retain our identity.  Customs and philosophy:  define self.  Can the self flex?  Carrying along one's gods in times of transition -- albums, war medals, old report cards, keep photos in the cloud, grandma's silver, etc.

A. When you move, or set up housekeeping, do you reverence, as did ancient Rome

1.  Forculus. Protector of the door and door leaves.

Ask not only where are your kids and your 401(k) right now; but ask where is your Forculus, who for early Romans (whose own ideas largely stemmed from predecessors, particularly the Greeks and they stemmed from others even earlier), protected the door, especially the "door leaves".  See

Door leaves.  Is that the panels, the planks or boards making up the door? No.  It seems to refer to separately moving parts of a folding door, or sliding door or one of a pair of doors.

2.  Limentinus. Protector of the threshhold.

Where is your Limentinus, who for early Romans protected the threshold. Were you carried over yours? Put up a little thousand-needle soft yew, cone-shape at the front door. A witch has to count them all before the witch can enter.

3.  Cardea.  Protector of hinges.

Where is Cardea, who for early Romans protected the hinges. When one squeaks, do you rush in with the 3-in-1, lest the evil ones be attracted by the sound?

Find more Bojnice doors at Slovakia Road Way.

4.  Vesta.  The hearth.

Where is Vesta, who for early Romans protected the hearth.  See  Why else put Santa's stockings there.

5.  Janus. Doorways and beginnings, facing both ways.

A Mezuzah, see

6. . Lares.  Ancestors.

Your albums, onling cloud photos. The ancestors of the household. Which of us are free of those gone before.  Whose memory lingers on, shaping us whether we will or not.  Little figurines in a cupboard. More elaborate rituals called them out. Special days.

Lar familiaris.  The family spirit. How do you see yourself?  Stolid like the Swedes (said my mother-in-law) or better than the Catholic Irish (said my Protestant grandmother, of the Plantation), or beware the uncle who died alcoholic, etc.

7.  Penates.  Gods for the larder.  Keep everybody fed. Little figurines, in a cupboard, brought out, perhaps, at mealtime.

8. The genius. Over the bed.

This was in the form of a snake, the "manhood" symbol.

Put that one over the marital bed to ensure propagation. Scary.  Bible says Eden's snake was male, but Michelangelo at the Sistine painted him with bosoms and otherwise made it female.  Tell that to the Republicans, that the snake is male who is the tempter, who wants to force his progeny on others.  Nuts.

How is that related to geni? or genii?  As in the bottle.

9. Larvae, Lemures.  Dead.

The crematory urn still in the closet.  Spirits of the deceased that could haunt a household.  Rout them by bashing pots and spitting out black beans. See family spirit above. What has passed through generations in your own family, as though nobody got it right yet, so it will keep recurring until somebody does.

B.  What gods and goddesses do we placate by legislation.

1. Juno Lucina (same as Juno wife of Jupiter?)  Watched over births.

There used to be a birthing room, off the main fireplace room for ease of access to hot water. Where is room for that in the white glare of the cold room in the hospital?

Other spirits guarded a foetus from its very very beginning, even though powerless and uninterested in guiding the course chosen by the hostess. This was a matter of the property right of the man in that piece of property therein.

Note that birth control is a Biblical favorite.  How many begats have more than one son? Eve herself chose to have two alive at once. Case closed.

We don't hear much about that Roman idea of guarding a foetus, with its later fate of perhaps an abandoned infant on the hillside, but we are not far from it.  Many factions here protect the zygote, but let the born one go off the radar. Who cares.  Life is tough.  See Picumnus and the early life form (he invented the manuring of the fields, no sh____, and did other fertility things, see  and Pilumnus (more on healthy children and protecting against Sylvanus, but that gets beyond us, see Pantheon site.

Thank both for their service, before, and in the birth, and after. Too bad in our culture we are fierce about the foetus, but then let the growing breathing ones go. Just be sure the woman takes her consequence and let the babe fend for itself after.

2. Early childhood.

The Romans had other gods and goddesses who came in for the parts we ignore in current funding cuts -- breastfeeding, bones growing strong, eating well, and talking.  Enter the goddess Nundina,

Day Eight - Name the girl.  Day Nine - Name the boy! Why the day's difference? Were baby boys weaker then, as now, perhaps?  Shall we name the goddess for the Eighth Day of the Girl: Octina, or perhaps Ocarina?    The girl got an amulet, the bulla, that she wore until marriage; and the boy would wear his bulla until he was a man (when?) and got his toga virilis somewhere between 14 and 18 (Oh, that).

3.   Other Roman customs worthy of carrying with you:

Big gateway in a life:  Marriage.  Common sense.  Lots of ways for that to result.  No deities need be present. Not their concern.  Rome: 

3.1.  Consent, both sides.  No festivities.

3.2.  Boy-Girl live together one year, Girl not absent more than 3 nights.

3.3.  Boy symbolically purchases Girl, takes a "Holder" of a pair of scales (is this where we got lady justice?) at the time, and 5 witnesses

3.4.  Patrician families:  the rich ones.  Full ceremonies required or usual, in presence of "pontifex maximus" (who? the great pontiff? no popes at the time)

Not always quiet waters. Those Rituals continued until the Christians amassed more masses, say about 200 AD, in a serious way.  Then the rituals changed to suit the new ideology as promoted by the beneficiaries of the form they fostered (That would be the Gents, who usurped any role women had while J was alive.  Is that why the institution worships Paul?).

Boy and Girl share sacred bread (nothing Christian here, this is pagan Rome), prayers, sacrifice, and taking of "auspices" -- what?  augurs for what?  ==

4. Another gateway:  Getting engaged:  Girl gets a ring.

Wedding: Girl wears red-orange veil, with blossom wreath, animal sacrifice, check entrails for omens, exchange vows with Boy and they are married. Funeral -- read on at the site ://

C.  Protecting our outsides:

In the yard, mirrored gazing balls, old idea, confuse the evil spirits with optics in the garden (put it deep inside the growths, conceal it, not just out on the lawn like a wart).  See

15.  Roman hand as talisman.

See how churches may still use the benediction idea of extended thumb and  then the first two fingers also extended;  but the third and fourth fingers are together.  See  It apparently is in the British Museum, called "The Hand of Power".  The "Powerful Hand" at  See the spells at

16.  Runes. Why do so many games construct elaborate settings and spells. All cultures, all roots. Casting spells: we made that evil early on. Eve said she was beguiled -- as she probably was -- and even though that was not the model of how to get out of responsibility, it is a formidable defense.  Note she was not banished -- go back and read. Only "the man" was.  Beguiling gets respect.  It was not her fault.  Even the deity recognized that He had not secured the borders. The hisser got in. Is that so?

Why not just acknowledge that our traditions come from deep roots and not just X and dogma thereafter; and tap into them as we need.  Is that Uncle Hector out there?  Come in!

Conclusion so far:  

Fear and threat: Universal life conditions.  If not in the world on its own, fear and threat thrive in the institutions and media who want us afraid so we will follow their chosen ideology.

The more institutional the religion, the more humanly self-serving.

Got runes?

Fear.  Works to keep people in line. This picture of Hell, from the Cathedral in Bern, Switzerland, is large because otherwise the details of what are to frighten you into the church's religion might lose impact:

Plan A.  Some of us may say, "Dear God, Bless this House."  Did it work? Perhaps we need to broaden our horizons. Trouble is getting in anyway.

Plan B. Mutual borrowings are in order. Look back and around at Peoples of the world. How did/do they approach the need to secure the home, your very own castle of sorts, from threat, rudeness, demands, disturbance.

Gateways are symbolic, but like borders, not impermeable at all.  As an introduction, in Romania, put up a big gate at the front yard, where it meets the street, to keep out evil.  This great gate, off in the mountains, does not protect a house but a people: it symbolically marks as far as the mounted Mongols got in their invasion plans by that route:  horses and forests and mountains did not mix, good for Romanians.

 The best response to fear and threat is to preserve opportunity for flexibility.