The Many Many Kami of Shinto Religion

In the past, I’ve touched on the subject of Shinto religion, and its great many kami (神) who range from great deities to little more than nature spirits or revered historical figures. In Japanese Shinto there is a saying: ya-o-yorozu no kami (八百万の神) which means “the Eight Million kami (of Japan)” which captures this sense,Continue reading “The Many Many Kami of Shinto Religion”

Io Saturnalia, Baby!

December 17th was formerly the start of an ancient Roman holiday called Saturnalia. To celebrate, let me post this awesome video by Historia Civilia about it: Contrary to popular belief, Christmas is not directly derived from Saturnalia, but did adopt some aspects such as gift giving and festivities. Christmas derives its date more from aContinue reading “Io Saturnalia, Baby!”

A Buddhist Nativity?

Every year, my family and I are Buddhist, but we tend to celebrate the Epiphany every year because we like the King Cakes that our local bakery sells. Because the bakery includes tiny collectable figurines from the Nativity of Jesus in them, we have collected a number of figurines over time which I keep onContinue reading “A Buddhist Nativity?”

Superstition in Medieval Times

Lately, I’ve been reading a fascinating book called The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century and the book touches on the subject of science and magic in 14th century England: The lack of distinction between fact and fiction with regard to distant countries is understandable, but itContinue reading “Superstition in Medieval Times”

A Nerd Dad’s Review of Mythic Odysseys of Theros

Hi folks, In addition to my recent adventures in adventure module writing, and gardening, I finally got a belated Father’s Day gift recently: The Mythic Odysseys of Theros (MOoT) is a cross-over reference guide between Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, specifically the Greek-mythology inspired plane of Theros. Theros is a kind of idealizedContinue reading “A Nerd Dad’s Review of Mythic Odysseys of Theros”

Shit’s Fucked, But What’re You Gonna Do?

I started writing this post weeks before this and this, but now it seems strangely relevant. Recently Eidolon posted a great article about Seneca’s philosophy vs. his tragedies. One of the many, great parts of this article is this one: Once I started to confront my depression and anxiety, Seneca’s philosophy sounded even more likeContinue reading “Shit’s Fucked, But What’re You Gonna Do?”

Magic and Science: Same Difference?

Recently, the family attended a little setsubun ceremony at a local Buddhist temple of the Japanese Shingon sect. Shingon Buddhism is one of several “esoteric” (mikkyō 密教) sects in Buddhism including Japanese Tendai and Tibetan Buddhism, and rely more on practices through a complex array of rituals, chants and gestures called “mudra”. This particular ceremonyContinue reading “Magic and Science: Same Difference?”

Sarapis: The Manufactured God

The Hellenistic Period of history was marked by a number of Greek kingdoms that vied for power after the death of Alexander the Great, with Egypt being among the most powerful. Egypt under the Ptolemy Dynasty, descendants of Ptolemy the First, Soter1, one of Alexander’s generals, was a very tightly-regulated society. The Greek minority ruledContinue reading “Sarapis: The Manufactured God”