December 25th, 2006

Shadowmancer

"El Caganer"



El Caganer
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Local traditions can often seem a little bizarre to outsiders, as is well known, but nothing compares to the scatological fun that is to be had in Catalonia around yuletide. When we explain these peculiar rites to visiting friends, they usually refuse to believe us until they go out on the streets and see it for themselves.

THE "CAGANER"


In Spain, as in Ireland, it has always been a tradition to put a model of the manger under the Christmas tree, complete with small figurines of Mary, Joseph, shepherds, sundry animals and God Jr. himself, the adoree, lying supine in his crib. We all have childhood memories of taking December walks in order to collect the moss and twigs that are needed to give the little setting a touch of realism. The most impressive mangers (pesebres) I have ever seen were in the centre of Naples where ateliers occupying several small streets were completely dedicated to crafting the most beautiful and elaborate miniature nativity scenes for the discerning local households.

But the Catalans go one better.

There is one extra figurine in the Catalan manger that you won’t find anywhere else in the world, the Caganer, the ‘Shitter’ to be precise. In the corner of the manger you have a model figure dressed in traditional Catalan garb, with his trousers round his ankles, squatting down and taking a dump. He is supposed to represent good health, fortune and fertility although to the untrained eye, he just seems to represent some guy crapping on the ground a few yards away from the newborn son of God.

You can see why nativity plays never really caught on in the schools over here.

But that’s not all. The typical caganer is dressed mostly in white and wears a ‘barretina’ on his head. This is the type of floppy hat that the extras wear in bad Hollywood productions of the French Revolution. However, there is a new trend to collect celebrity caganers, so you can now find squatting little figures of politicians, famous football players, singers, actors and, although it initially caused a huge scandal, members of the Spanish royal family. It is certainly a curious and endearing little custom although I can’t see it ever catching on in Utah.

Now if there were just one defecation-related Christmas accessory over here, you could just about accept it. But what if there were two? Do you believe in coincidences?

THE CAGATÍO

The 6th of January is known as the Kings’ Day, when the three wise Magi were supposed to have arrived at the manger having been guided GPS-style by a wandering star. There they regaled the infant Christ with all their duty free shopping, well at least the gold, frankincense and myrrh. The cartons of Lucky Strike and bottles of Johnny Walker they kept for themselves. This is therefore the more traditional day to give gifts over here, not Christmas day as it is in the more Anglo-Saxon cultures.

However there is an exception to this rule. On Christmas Day Catalan children are lucky enough to receive turrón (a delicious bar of solid candy that tastes a little like extruded sweet peanut butter) and small gifties from their favourite uncle. The Cagatío (or ‘Uncle Shit’) is a small log of wood about a foot long. A smiling Thomas-the-Tank-Engine face is painted on one end and two little pegs are inserted underneath it so it looks like it’s propping itself up on it’s forelegs. As a final touch, a barretina is placed above the face and voila. You have yourself a working Cagatío.

On the evenings leading up to the Christmas, children put a plate of food under Cagatío’s face before going up to bed. Why? Because the more Cagatío eats, the more gifts and candy he’ll be able to give you when the time comes, Silly. The parents take the food away before they go to bed and tell the children that the smiling lump of wood gobbled it up overnight. You can probably see where this is going.

Before continuing I should perhaps reiterate that I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.

Then comes Christmas Eve and things really start getting weird. The Cagatío is covered with a dishcloth or towel and the kids are given long sticks. Then on the count of three the children start walloping the log while singing a song that goes something like:

"Uncle Shit, good Uncle Shit. Shit out candy for us!"

After a few minutes of flaying the bark off their inanimate benefactor and chanting their poop song, the little ones are sent off to bed. The parents take the poor brutalised Uncle out from under the dishcloth and replace it with gifts and sweets. The next day the rug rats wake to find that their Uncle is no longer under the cloth but has skipped town. Nevertheless, thanks to all the plates of food and the sound thrashing that they gave him, he managed leave a bunch of goodies in his wake. Hell the guy’s practically MADE of roughage.

Neither of these traditions belong to a strange bran-eating sect of Christianity, they are in fact standard practices for common or garden local Catholics. So what is it with these people that associate the festive winter season so much with bowel movements? Beats me.



Optional: For those times when you cannot acquire this wooden "yule log" for whatever reason, a coffee can will do. Simply attach the face to the 'butt' end of the can {or painted directly onto the metal}, with the previously 'open' end reversed. Insert desired candy inside, & re-attach plastic cover. Prop up with 'forelegs', which may be constructed with a paper roll cut to size, held with tape or glue. Adorn the tio with a suitable 'shawl' {material of choice, and/or 'hat'}. Remove plastic seal to release, & enjoy.

Aesthetically, consider the medieval paintings of Hell Mouth & "soul eater" depictions.

* Related: The Dark Side of xmas.

Knight

Russian writer's museum sacked by critic of 'Satanic' work

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Russian writer's museum sacked by critic of 'Satanic' work
Mon Dec 25, 2:04 PM ET
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MOSCOW (AFP) - A museum dedicated to a Russian writer condemned by the Orthodox church for his authorship of a "Satanic gospel" has been largely destroyed, an official told AFP.

The museum celebrated the life and work of Mikhail Bulgakov, author of "The Master and Margarita" a work of fantasy and satire in which the devil comes to Communist-era Moscow to see if he can do some good.

The Orthodox church said that the book, not published until 26 years after Bulgakov's death in 1940, was "the fifth gospel, that of Satan."

According to Svetlana Kostina, deputy director of the museum, Alexander Morozov, a bitter critic of Bulgakov's work, which he condemned as Satanic, last Thursday locked himself in the museum, situated on the ground floor of a building and demanded that it be evicted.

He "threw many objects out of the window, including valuable illustrations of Bulgakov's works, signed by great Russian artists, not to mention several computers," she said.

About half the contents were damaged.

Morozov had been campaigning for years against the presence of the museum, which looks on to a park where the writer lived and where he placed the action of "The Master and Margarita."

He lives in the building and in 2004 organised a successful protest by local people against the construction of a monument to the writer.

There is no monument in Moscow to Bulgakov (1891 to 1940) although he was a popular playwright in the 1920s, before falling out of favour in the 1930s, though he benefitted from a degree of protection from Stalin.

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Orphans confess to worshipping devil

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Orphans confess to worshipping devil
Bulawayo Bureau
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WHILE prayer draws most people closer to God, it is a torment for four orphaned children from Bulawayo’s Mpopoma suburb, who recently confessed to be devil worshippers.

In heart-rending stories, family members and the children aged between five and 13, on Saturday spoke about how they were drawn into a Satanic sect and made to drink blood and eat human flesh.

The children related how their late mother initiated them into the mysterious sect. The children’s aunt said she noticed that the children were behaving strangely after prayer sessions.

"I only discovered the children’s problem after questioning one of them on their strange behaviour after praying. What prompted me to ask them was a noise that was made by one of the girls Dudu (not her real name) as we were praying one day.

"After praying that night, I decided to call one of them to explain what was happening since he seemed more open and that is when he told me what was happening," she said.

The aunt later approached Dudu and she opened up to her.

"She confessed that the prayers made them feel uncomfortably hot and they had been sent on a mission to kill her (aunt’s) family."

She said she had been advised to approach the Victim Friendly Unit at Western Commonage Police Station.

The aunt said she went to the Victim Friendly Unit and was asked to return in the evening as the person who was supposed to handle her case was not on duty.

The aunt said she was shocked by the child’s story and decided to question the other children one at a time and all had similar tales.

"After I had talked to the boy, I decided to call the elder sister who was reluctant to talk at first but after sometime decided to open up and told me what was happening.

"I was finally convinced and at the same time heartbroken when the last born, who is only five years old, told me the same thing," the aunt said.

She claimed that the children had laced her food with poison and only told her what they had done when she fell ill and had to seek medical attention.

"Just this week, I had to be treated at the clinic for food poisoning. The children told me that they had poisoned my food when they saw that I was seriously ill," she said.

The aunt asked some neighbours and church members to come and listen to the children’s testimony.

The children were reluctant to talk at first but when they were assured that the people present wanted to help them, they began to speak out.

Dudu related how she was made "queen of the water world" after going through all the gruesome ordeals to prove her loyalty to the sect.

"I was initiated into Satanism at a very tender age . . . I must have been around six years old," she said.

Dudu, who is eight, claimed that her younger sister had not been initiated as she was young and that the sect members wanted her to turn six before she could be allowed in.

"One only qualifies to go under water after completing all the evil one can think of and since I managed to carry out all the orders, I was successful. I don’t want to be part of them anymore, I want to be like other children of my age but I am scared that I will be killed," she said.

Dudu said they had been made to eat human flesh and drink human blood several times and had killed a number of people but had lost count.

Another child also went on to elaborate how they were collected every night by their grandmother and their aunt to visit their late father.

She also related how on several occasions they had met their late father.

"Ever since our mother died our grandmother and aunt collect us. They sneak through a tiny sitting room window into the house when everyone is asleep."

The child also revealed that there was a fire that surrounded their house and that the fire had burnt their mother.

"Our mother was burnt by the fire that surrounds this house and one of our aunts. The two died because of the burns they sustained," she said.

She claimed that an unidentified black animal transported them.

After the children had related their tales, their paternal grandmother wept bitterly and said what hurt her most was that her son was being used to draw his children into Satanism.

"These children have been made to believe that their father is alive and that the devil gives life that is why they have become so drawn into it," she said.


What happened here is a combination of the culture misunderstanding the origin of some of its own indigenous practices, such as Voodoo and Palo Mayombe, and the source of the report, which are christians who consider anything besides their particular world-view as "satanic", no matter how harmless. Seems that the rest of the world is barely becoming engaged in "the satanic panic" as missionaries spread their paranoia to foreign lands, and realize that the gimmick worked in the states for awhile. The truly sad thing is that the superstition does cause pain for families who are actually victims of hypnotizing christian the-rapists who project their own fetishistic bloody fantasies onto their "patients" {victims}, resulting in the indoctrination of native people who assent to it for first aid and food, but frequently end up believing the blindlight foolosophy, even intigrating it into their pagan practices.

* Please see This link.

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New Books!

Satan Claus has brought forth... new books! And other delights. This list comprises some of the gifts distributed for the Winter Solstice and Krampus:

'The Most Evil Men & Women in History' by Miranda Twiss

The Most Evil Men & Women in History by Miranda Twiss
Caligula: "the schizophrenic emperor".
Nero: "fifth emperor of Rome.
Atilla The Hun: the "Storm from The East".
King John: "the cruel and ruthless monarch".
Torquemada: "the Spanish Inquisitor".
Prince Vlad Dracula: "the Impaler".
Francisco Pizarro: "conqueror of the Incas".
'Bloody' Mary I: "a Catholic Queen in a Protestant country".
Ivan IV 'The Terrible': "Tsar of all the Russias".
Elizabeth, Countess Bathory: "Countess Bathory".
Rasputin: The "Mad Monk" who brought down a dynasty".
Josef Stalin: "a twentieth century tyrant".
Adolf Hitler: "father of the 'Final Solution".
Ilse Koch: the "Bitch of Buchenwald".
Pol Pot: "Architect of genocide".
Idi Amin: "the 'Butcher of East Africa".

I Am pleased to say that I have been long familiar with all of these infamous historical characters, when I would go off to the library and read books on their legacies. I particularly enjoyed the "Crime & Punishment: Encyclopedia of Aberrent Behavior" series. These personages have various admirable and not so admirable traits, which prodded the populace onto evilution and change. Whatever the case, they remain fascinating characters which are always amusing to contemplate. Amongst these "old world" mentions, I would also liked to have seen Hernan Cortes included, conqueror of the Aztecs and Mayans.

The Art of War' by Sun Tzu'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu [The Modern Chinese Interpretation]: I was pleased to repossess this tome, which had become misplaced. I first read it on a recommendation from a Sensei as a Dracling. I have found it to be a worthwhile tome which can be applied to a wide variety of situations, and does actually contribute to one's mental fortitude, offering a glimpse into the warrior ethos.

Hell House by Alison Rattle & Allison Vale'Hell House, & Other True Hauntings From Around The World' [compiled] by Alison Rattle & Allison Vale: Always enjoyable fare for those rainy afternoons and evenings. What is also notable about this tome is the sheer quality and imagination that went into the binding and cover. Engraved design with actual red 'gems' for eyes in the sockets of the skull. Splendid.

The Samurai: The Philosophy of Victory'The Samurai: The Philosophy of Victory' [compiled] by Robert T. Samuel: Magnificent Japanese Martial 'Art' fills this text with spectacular paintings, historical relations of Samurai history, with much of the 'philosophy' stemming from proverbs and military warriors' quotes.

The Egyptian Book of The DeadThe Egyptian Book of The Dead: A compendium of intriguing mythology and occult spells intended to guide those 'beyond the grave', as well as an explanation of the pyramids' mazes of prognostication, various gods' attributes, and beautiful artistry from cover to cover. The cover itself features a very elegant 'grimoire'-like quality with its black on black heiroglyphs, and scarab beetle {symbol of immortality} complete with phosphoprescent red 'gem'. Great for reference material, and a must for the Occultphile's library.


Imagine the excitement of receiving the Darth Vader helmet and face used in the actual film, originally owned by a relative's relative who happens to work closely with the prop masters, which was originally destined to be discarded until it was mentioned that I have quite an affinity with this villainous character, and is in fact an 'A.C.I.' {Aesthetic Crystallization Inertia} of mine. Now it graces the Office area for inspiration and amusement. Hail The Dark Side.

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