Empathy is derived from the Greek words Empatheia meaning passion, and Pathein meaning to experience or suffer.
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines Empathy;
The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts and experiences of another without having the feelings or experiences fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.
Empathic Tendencies or Gifts fall under the catergory of ESP which also can include; telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition,clairaudience, and most recently, remote viewing. To break it down to the most basic point, Empathy= Emotion.
If only emotions always felt basic.
Emotions can be explained on one level in terms of a neurochemical process, and another level in terms of phenomenology.
Emotions are voluntary, when they are subject to modificiation and control using cognition, action or willful regulation.
Emotions are involuntary, when an effective stimulus elicits them automatically without deliberation or conscious choice.
Many philophers, dating back to Aristotle debated about the signifigance of emotion. Aristotle advocated moderation of emotions, only allowing them to have an effect on or at the right time and in the right manner. Cicero, an aristotelian thinker, saw emotions as beneficial. Fear making humans careful, compassion and sadness leading to mercy, and anger bringing forth courage.
Most modern theorsists agree with Cicero.
17th Century philosoper Benedict deSpinoza, saw emotions as bodily changes that result in the amplification, or attenuation of action as a process that can bring forth or impede action. Including, ideas or mental representation of the bodily changes caused by emotion.
Contemporary philosopher James Hillman believes that the material cause of emotion is energy. That matter, the ultimate source of energy, is relative. Emotion is the psychological aspect of general energy that is going on in our bodies all the time. Thus, creating a two way bridge uniting subject and object. He also added that in a formal sense, emotion is a total pattern of the soul.
How does all this information fit in with being an Empath? I am learning that it really doesn't fit in. Facts, or information, does not always equate with emotion. Emotion is subject to the person experiencing it and usually, it is different for every person.
There are estimations that 5 to 20 % of the population are Empaths. Some people don't agree with that estimation; there are many people that agree that everyone has the ability to use empathy, just not everyone knows it, or accepts it. To quote a more experienced Empath, "Everyone has the ability to paint, not everyone can be Picasso."
In my empathic experiences, the emotions that I have felt from others are involuntary. They can be as small as feeling a little blue or short tempered, or as strong as deep sadness with unstoppable crying, to intense anger that tenses my whole body and causes me to lash out.
The reaction, what I do with those emotions, are usually voluntary. I am learning to shield and ground these emotions, sometimes the emotions ,or connections, are too strong and I just have to ride out the wave.
There are many ways empaths can "connect" with others, voluntarly or involuntarly. Some connections occur with eyes, touch or even just passing by another and picking up on their "vibes". With all the technology advances, some empaths can make mind connections with online friends or aquaintences without having met in them person or speaking with them on the phone.
There are also different types of Empaths, that can lead to different kinds of connections with others. Here are some of the different types.
Physical Intuition- Physical Intuition lets you know about what is going on with anothers physical body.
Physical Oneness- You can experience someones physical sensations in your own body.
Emotional Intuition- Feeling others emotions seperate from your own emotions.
Emotional Oneness- Taking on others emotions as your own.
Those are just a few of the different ways that Empaths connect with others.
So what do you do with all these emotions and connections? Well, there are a few things you can do. From a beginners view, the two most important things you can learn are shielding and grounding. For example, when shielding you can visualize being surrounded by mirrors with the reflection side facing outwards. This can help deflect emotions from reaching you. An example of grounding can include visualizing emotions flowing through you downwards and back into the earth, like tree roots, until you feel "empty" of the extra emotions. There is a great article in the Where to Start section titled Shielding Techniques. Another article I found helpful was Chakra 101. Balancing your chakras helps keep you in balance and in turn will help you deal with an overload of emotions.
The thing that helped me the most was acceptance. When I accepted what I was feeling, and recognized that these feelings weren't really mine, but me picking up on others, it was much easier for me to shield and/or ground.
Doing research for this article I was not finding alot "facts" . Mostly I was finding others experiences and techniques on how they deal with their empathy.
The bottom line is that you as an indivdual will deal with you empathic gifts differently than anyone else. Read, and practice different techniques, you will find something that works for you. When you find it, keep practicing and most of the time you will find that being an Empath is a gift that can bring great joy when you get the chance to help others. After all, human connection can be the best thing about being human.
LEARNING HEALTHY BOUNDARIES
Being an empath is difficult because of the traits and convictions are more prevalent than others. Along with the beauty of being an empath is the tragedy of being used and often a victim of others that feed off your good nature. Believe me I can relate for I too have been there long ago before I learned how to set up healthy boundaries for an empath.
Yes I too still will give the one I help the very shirt off my back until I get totally screwed over, then it is a matter of:
1-How could they do this?
2-I gave everything and this is the thanks I get?
3-How did I get screwed again?
4-I am so angry they did this to me?
5-I am pissed at myself for letting this happen yet again!
Yes these are your triggers and the first step to not letting other use you and kick you aside after they have taken all they can is to know these triggers well.
Make a list of your personal triggers that tend to draw you into a trap.
1-One states they are desperate.
2-One uses friendship to use you.
3-One uses a like-kind or relaitable situation to draw you in. (hook, line, & sinker)
4-One uses key words. (desperate, suicidal thoughts, I'll be indebted, your my hero, being a victim, ect)
5-One uses children or sick relatives.
To be a empath that is not all used up and become the victim themselves, set these boundaries. It is OK to say NO! Empath's are special people and give so much of themselves and the art of healing is enormous, but we need our empath not to be all used up and burn out. Learn health boundaries empaths everywhere and don't become the victim of the victim you were helping.
Current Moon Phase
During this Moon phase, there is a slight slowing down of enthusiasm due to an emerging desire to produce tangible results from the energy being expended. The issue of values enters into the equation and an urge to tie together the data available so that you can utilize current opportunities. There is still plenty of forward motion, and this is a great time to continue initiating and progressing forward. This Moon phase favors gaining more information and the input of others to further your plans.
Tuesday 4th March 2014 - Moon in Aries
Today - you'll see an immediate result of the New Moon
Even though you're reading this prediction in advance - you're still going to be surprised - because Pisces New Moon followed by Moon in Aries - will be making a lot of things happen remarkable quickly - and today you're going to be seeing real and positive results. Nothing is going to stop things from happening - not even you !
In fact - if you attempt to be lazy and if you attempt to stall the flow of destiny - someone will tell you exactly what they think of you - so if you don't want to be told-off - just go with the flow and do it !
You should realize by now that destiny has it's dates - when it determines things should happen - and when it triggers people to make them happen - it creates the energy to make them happen. Today's aspects will make them happen by triggering things to happen - and in today's case - it might be WORRY that motivates you OR FEAR - or someone just being plain and stupid annoying - but the good result will be - you will be motivated and given an inexplicable STRONG energy to get something important done.
Moon 27° Aries opposes Mars [in retrograde] 27° Libra - will either create a confrontation with someone - who will criticize you - OR will ensure you see something that's been WRONG in your life - whatever the catalyst - you will immediately experience the discomfort and "pain" - and then FIX it.
Moon 29° Aries squares Venus 29° Capricorn creates a minor discomfort - someone negative, lazy, dull and boring - will attempt to distract your attention and waste time. But due to the fast-tempo of the day - you won't have any time to waste today. However, notice WHO it is - because "life" is showing you - amidst a very positive day - that there are people in your life who slow-you-down - there's no need to dump them - but don't spend precious time with them - when you want things to happen !
Tuesday 4th March 2014 - Moon enters Taurus
Restlessness .... because of "Moon in Aries" ....
"Aries" affects the mind and thoughts - and hence the fact that there's been a Pisces New Moon on 1st March - your mind is "thinking" - and for some of you - it might be doing too much thinking. The combination of Sun in Pisces and the Pisces New Moon - with Monday and Tuesday's transit of Moon in Aries - you've gone into overdrive - and the Moon's squares and oppositions - instead of being gentle - have created a lot of disturbance, throw messed-up confused thoughts in your head.
Indeed, "Aries" has a negative side to it - and that's nervousness, impatience and restlessness - and due to all the astrological changes - it's probably making those of you with "nervous" disposition - very nervy and anxious - CALM DOWN !
All your nervous thoughts and worries - are thoughts that are NOT REAL - and whilst "life" is giving these thoughts - it's doing so to guide you and make you realize direction you should take AWAY from negativity and worries - the purpose of thoughts is not to be the focus of all your energy.
Thankfully, when Moon enters Taurus 7:14pm GMT - 8:14pm Europe - 2:14pm USA EST - [Wednesday 5:14am Sydney, Australia - 00:44am India] - you're going to CALM DOWN - and nothing will worry you - you won't need to do anything - because in the same way you became "nervy, anxious and restless" during Moon in Aries - you will automatically become "calm, peaceful and tranquil" during Moon in Taurus - in fact many of you will begin to realize how STUPID it was to worry for nothing !
Your love nature will become more detached this week. Now, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing … and it certainly doesn’t mean that you won’t care about romantic matters anymore. This shift is actually a reflection of love planet Venus moving into broadminded, individualistic Aquarius on Wednesday. Until April 5 you will have an ability to love others while still maintaining a sense of self and separateness. Also, what will become paramount in matters of the heart now more than ever is friendship. Without a true camaraderie, sparks simply won’t fly.
Aries Horoscope (Mar 21 – Apr 19)
If you’re single, this could be a game-changing week for you when it comes to romance potential. On Wednesday Venus will move into your social networking sector which could jump-start an opportunity for you to meet someone special through your friends, or in a group setting. You may also decide to join an online dating website since, until April 5, you will have more luck pursuing a romantic connection in this way. In addition, a friendship may blossom into something more. If you’re attached, you and your honey will enjoy a phase of remarkable social fun. Enjoy!
Taurus Horoscope (Apr 20 – May 20)
You’ll have an extraordinary ability to attract someone as you focus on pursuing professional opportunities. There’s a good chance that someone out there is watching you now — someone who admires and respects you for your career achievements and wants very much to get to know you better. You might even discover that an authority figure connected to your industry has a crush on you! If this does happen, you’ll need to assess the situation, of course, and handle with care. Still, this will be a time where if you’re looking for love all you need to do is concentrate on your career.
Gemini Horoscope (May 21 – Jun 20)
You might feel a strong itch to travel abroad this week and if so, you may want to honor it. After Wednesday and until April 5, there are glorious prospects for you to find love in the most unusual places. Whether it’s in another part of the world, or at a restaurant that serves exotic cuisine, or even in an adult education class that promises to expand your horizons, all of these options will provide the atmosphere to stimulate your mind, senses, and quite possibly, your love life. Go for it!
Cancer Horoscope (June 21 – Jul 22)
Your kinky side may surface this week, much to your partner’s delight! On Wednesday, love planet Venus will enter the most intimate, erotic place in your chart — the mysterious 8th House of Intimacy. If you’re already partnered up, you may feel more inclined to explore a sexual fantasy with your mate (and the more forbidden, the greater the appeal)! Of course, this doesn’t have to be completely taboo, but it is likely to push you and your lover out of your sexual comfort zones.
Leo Horoscope (Jul 23 – Aug 22)
When it comes to partnership, after Wednesday and until April 5, you’ll receive a cosmic boost that you’ll surely treasure. Venus will enter your relationship sector, which will offer extraordinary support to an existing relationship. You and your mate will enjoy a phase of harmony that can only help to strengthen your bond. If you’re dating someone then this may be a time you and your sweetheart decide to go exclusive or make an even stronger commitment. Perhaps you’ll move in together, become engaged or even decide to marry!
Virgo Horoscope (Aug 23 – Sep 22)
An office romance may become too tempting to ignore after Wednesday. If your attraction to a coworker is mutual, the two of you may decide to begin dating. You may already have a solid friendship and because of this, there will be little reason to doubt the natural progression of this relationship. If you’re already attached, between now and April 5 you and your lover may decide to embark on a work project together that will bring you both great joy.
Libra Horoscope (Sep 23 – Oct 22)
Love is in the air! On Wednesday and until April 5 you’ll enjoy one of the most promising astrological indicators that new love is about to arrive. Venus will enter your romance sector, ensuring plenty of opportunity for you to attract someone you’ve got your eye on. This person is likely to have at least one quirky trait that makes you (initially) think that he or she really isn’t your type. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Give it a chance and you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised.
Scorpio Horoscope (Oct 23 – Nov 21)
The pleasures of romance will be most enjoyed right in the comfort of your own home. After Wednesday and until April 5 you may prefer to enjoy your love in a cozier atmosphere. Snuggling on the couch together while you watch your favorite movies, cooking dinner at home together, or even spending extra time indulging in late night pillow talk will all be extremely desirable ways to enhance your bond. If you recently started to date someone, this will be a great cycle to introduce your sweetheart to your family.
Sagittarius Horoscope (Nov 22 – Dec 21)
After Wednesday you’ll have an easier time communicating your feelings to your partner or to a new love interest. Talking about love and the status of your relationship will not only be a snap, but it’ll also be a topic you genuinely enjoy discussing. In addition, you and your lover may decide to sign up for a class on a shared interest together and if so, it’ll likely be on an unusual subject. The mental stimulation will support your romance in a charming way.
Capricorn Horoscope (Dec 22 – Jan 19)
If you’ve felt as if progress between you and your spouse or partner was stalled over the last few months, you’re in luck. On Thursday, Jupiter will turn direct in your relationship sector, where it has been moving retrograde for the last few months. Jupiter is all about expansion, so if things are going well in your current relationship then you can count on Jupiter to add the cherry on top of your already very indulgent love match! If, on the other hand, there has been a downward spiral, Jupiter may simply begin to magnify this fact. In that case, the “progress” you experience may be about the realization that your alliance is no longer working.
Aquarius Horoscope (Jan 20 – Feb 18)
Congratulations! After Wednesday and until April 5, you’ll officially enjoy the title of being the “Fairest of them all.” That’s right, with Venus moving into your sign you will exude a level of magnetism that will be difficult for anyone to ignore. In addition, your confidence will increase — which is the single most important factor to help you attract others your way. Since you’ll have this contagious quality, it’ll be easy to begin a new relationship or to fortify an existing one.
Pisces Horoscope (Feb 19 – Mar 20)
You may begin to crave extra privacy in your love life. After Wednesday and until April 5, you and your sweetheart may benefit from a couple’s retreat, taking yoga or meditation classes together, or even exploring a hobby such as art or photography. Your spiritual connection will receive a lovely boost and any of these activities will only help to further support this. If you’re not attached, you may spend time reflecting on a secret crush. In a few weeks you might be ready to reveal your feelings for this person.
Your Tarot Card for March 4th is The High Priestess
Traditionally called the High Priestess, this major arcana, or trump, card represents human wisdom. She can be viewed as a kind of female Pope, the ancient Egyptian Priestess of Isis, the even older snake and bird Goddesses, the Greek Goddess Persephone, or the Eve of Genesis before the Fall.
For the accused heretics who were burnt at the stake for revering her in the 14th and 15th century, she symbolized the prophecy of the return of the Holy Spirit, which was perceived as the female aspect of the Holy Trinity.
In the sequence of cards in the major arcana, the High Priestess appears as soon as the Fool decides he wants to develop his innate powers, making a move toward becoming a Magus. The High Priestess is his first teacher, representing the Inner Life and the method for contacting it, as well as the contemplative study of Nature and the Holy Mysteries.
Your Rune For Today
Hagalaz is the hail Rune. It denotes chaos, destruction and disruption on a primal level. You may experience delays in moving toward your goals.
Today’s oracle card is Snail’s Pace from my Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle. The message on this card is “slow down, grounding, listen for the heartbeat of the earth, subtle energies.”
Hrm, hrmm, this is very similar to yesterday’sFour of Swords! Perhaps you didn’t take the advice of yesterday’s card? (which was to take a nap). If so, today is STILL a nap day! Yay!
However, I don’t feel like today is really a do-nothing kind of day, but rather a do one-thing-at-a-f*&%ing-time kind of day. Don’t pull any of that multitasking nonsense and just focus on being fully present and alive in all that you do.
Spirit Animal Oracle
That Which is Behind You
Green Man peers out of the foliage to remind you that not all of life's mysteries have logical solutions. Be open to magical opportunities, spirit allies, and unconventional paths. Get out into the wilderness, ground yourself in meditation, and listen for Green Man's wisdom. You may just catch sight of him eyeing you in his leafy camouflage.
Your Current Place
Badger is a ferocious opponent, unwilling to back down over any issue. Unfortunately, this unwavering stance leads some Badgers to their demise. If Badger has dug into your reading, he is asking whether you are fighting the right fight. Is this issue the hill you’re willing to die on, or are you fighting for no other reason than pure stubbornness? Think about it.
That Which is before You
Blue Jay encourages you to be a little sassy today! If there's something you've been wanting, ask for it. If there's an issue that needs confrontation, don't sweep it under the rug or Blue Jay will drag it back out into the open. One word of caution, though—Blue Jays will eat the young of other birds—so be direct, but not destructive.
Blyssful Fat Tiu's Day Pagans!
The Paganism behind Mardi Gras is evident in the names of the krewes, which are the societies that put on our parades: The Krewe Of Oshun; The Krewe Of Cleopatra; The Krewe Of Sparta; The Mystic Knights Of Adonis; The Krewe Of Thor; The Krewe Of Atlas; The Mystic Krewe Of Druids; The Mystic Krewe Of Nix; The Krewe Of Muses; The Knights Of Hermes; The Krewe Of Isis; The Krewe Of Zeus; The Krewe Of Hera; and of course The Krewe Of Bacchus. It is no coincidence that most of the nearly seventy parades of Mardi Gras are named for Pagan deities and cultures.
To begin with, Mardi Gras is our version of Carnival, a Catholic tradition with major Pagan roots. Carnival is the time between Twelfth Night and Lent, which is roughly a four week period. Our celebration of Carnival climaxes on Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins. By most scholarship, Carnival (Carnivale) means "meat festival," the time before Lent when one eats meat before giving up such rich foods. The same meaning is held in Mardi Gras, the day of eating rich (fat) foods. (There is one theory, however, that Carnivale comes from sailing ship, and that this is the ancient feast of Isis blessing the year's first voyages).
In ancient Rome, Carnival replaced many Pagan celebrations, especially Saturnalia and Bacchanalia, both feasts of orgiastic eating and sexuality. Those elements remained part of Carnival for very good reasons: at Carnival, one was expected to sin so that one can atone at Lent. For early Catholics, converted from Roman Paganism, there was no better sin than reverting to Roman Paganism for four weeks, appeasing Bacchus and other orgiastic Gods!
Masking was also a major part of ancient Pagan ritual. In the Germanic Carnival tradition of Fastnacht, masking is a major element of the celebration; this was probably true of the Bacchanalia, where revelers put aside their daily identity to enjoy a time of sacred lust and mirth, returning to mundane life in the morning. In fact masking for these feasts probably dates back to Pagan hunting rites, when hunters would don the heads and antlers of prey animals such as deer; this is seen in neolithic cave paintings such as those in Lascaux and Caverne De Trois Freres. Impersonating the hunted animal was meant to connect the spirit of hunter and prey; this connection of spirit with the Underworld through masking continued, in practice, through the Bacchanalia and Saturnalia feasts and into Mardi Gras and Carnival.
Masks and costumes take on both a sacred quality and a complex, ornate quality at Mardi Gras. Many parades feature elaborately masked riders, equated with mystic knights, such as the Templars, and with ceremonial magic. Krewes who portray these knights often identify themselves as "mystics," such as the Mystic Krewes Of Nix, Babylon, and Chaos. While a scary presence, these "knights" are also mystifying and commanding.
One of the Mardi Gras traditions I love most is that of the Mardi Gras Indians. This is an African American tradition, and is the oldest parade we have (beginning in the late Nineteenth Century, just after Emancipation; all of our other parades date back only to the sixties and seventies in their current form, except for Rex, which dates to the turn of the century, still fifty years later than Emancipation!). Mardi Gras Indians celebrate the Native tribes that helped escaped slaves hide from white slave hunters, by dressing in elaborate costumes (called "masks") that depict Indian battles through complex bead work. The costumes take a year of work to create, and each year the costumes are destroyed, and new ones created! While the Mardi Gras Indians do parade on Mardi Gras day, there was a time they were forbidden to do so under Jim Crow laws; so their grand parade is a month after Mardi Gras, on Saint Joseph day. Many African tribal elements, and Voodoo elements, are seen in the songs and chants of the Mardi Gras Indians.
One of the most Pagan Mardi Gras elements is the presence of the Gods. In every parade we see Bacchus, Neptune and Diana depicted. It is well understood in this Catholic culture that our festivities appease the Pagan Gods, Queens and Kings that once presided over the Bacchanalia.
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The history of Mardi Gras began long before Europeans set foot in the New World. In mid February the ancient Romans celebrated the Lupercalia, a circus like festival not entirely unlike the Mardi Gras we are familiar with today. When Rome embraced Christianity, the early Church fathers decided it was better to incorporate certain aspects of pagan rituals into the new faith rather than attempt to abolish them altogether. Carnival became a period of abandon and merriment that preceded the penance of Lent, thus giving a Christian interpretation to the ancient custom.
Mardi Gras came to America in 1699 with the French explorer Iberville. Mardi Gras had been celebrated in Paris since the Middle Ages, where it was a major holiday. Iberville sailed into the Gulf of Mexico, from where he launched an expedition up the Mississippi River. On March 3 of 1699, Iberville had set up a camp on the west bank of the river about 60 miles south of where New Orleans is today. This was the day Mardi Gras was being celebrated in France. In honor of this important day, Iberville named the site Point du Mardi Gras.
The Late Eighteenth Century
During the late 1700's, pre-Lenten masked balls and festivals were common in New Orleans while it was under French rule. However when New Orleans came under Spanish rule the custom was banned. In 1803 New Orleans came under the U.S. flag. The prohibition against masked festivals continued until 1823 when the Creole populace convinced the governor to permit masked balls. In 1827 street masking was again legalized.
The Nineteenth Century
During the early 1800's public celebrations of Mardi Gras centered around maskers on foot, in carriages and on horseback. The first documented parade occurred in 1837. Unfortunately, Mardi Gras gained a negative reputation because of violent behavior attributed to maskers during the 1840's and 50's. The situation became so bad that the press began calling for an end to the celebration.
In 1857 six New Orleaneans saved Mardi Gras by forming the Comus organization. These six men were former members of the Cowbellians, an organization which had put on New Year's Eve parades in Mobile since 1831. The Comus organization added beauty to Mardi Gras and demonstrated that it could be a safe and festive event. Comus was the first organization to use the term krewe to describe itself. Comus also started the customs of having a secret Carnival society, having a parade with a unifying theme with floats, and of having a ball after the parade. Comus was also the first organization to name itself after a mythological character. The celebration of Mardi Gras was interrupted by the Civil War, but in 1866 Comus returned.
In 1870 the Twelfth Night Revelers made their appearance. In 1871 they began the custom of presenting a young woman with a golden bean hidden in a cake. This young woman was the first queen of Mardi Gras. This was also the origin of the king cake tradition.
In 1872 Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff of Russia visited New Orleans. This year the krewe of Rex made their debut and began the tradition of the "King of Carnival." Rex also introduced purple, gold and green as the official colors of Mardi Gras. Rex was the first krewe to hold an organized daytime parade and introduced "If Ever I Cease To Love" as the Mardi Gras anthem. One of the high points of Rex is the arrival of the Rex King on a riverboat. 1872 also saw the debut of the Knights of Momus on New Year's Eve.
Ten years later in 1882, the Krewe of Proteus made its debut with a parade themed after Egyptian mythology. In 1890 the first marching club, The Jefferson City Buzzards, was organized. In 1894, the Original Illinois Club was formed as the first black Mardi Gras organization. In 1896 Les Mysterieuses appeared as the first female organization.
Mardi Gras in the Twentieth Century
In 1909 Zulu appeared as a parody of Rex. The Zulu King held a banana stalk scepter and wore a lard can crown. He arrived on on oyster lugger instead of a steamboat. Zulu was destined to become one of the most popular and beloved of all krewes.
Mardi Gras was canceled during the dark years of 1918 and 1919 when the United States was involved in the bloody fighting of the First World War. The celebration struggled through the 1920's and early 30's, which saw Prohibition and The Great Depression.
The krewe of Alla brought carnival to the West Bank in 1934.
With the rise of mass produced automobiles, random truck riders had become part of the Mardi Gras scene. In 1935 they organized themselves into the Elkes Krewe of Orleanians. The Krewe of Hermes appeared in 1937 and the Knights of Babylon in 1939.
Mardi Gras prospered during the 1940's, although it was canceled during the war years. In 1949 Louis Armstrong was King of the Zulu parade and was pictured on the cover of time magazine.
In 1950 the Duke and Duchess of Windsor visited New Orleans during Mardi Gras. They honored the New Orleans Mardi Gras traditionby bowing to kings of Rex and Comus at the Comus ball. The Korean War put a damper on festivities in 1951, but several krewes joined forces to parade as the Krewe of Patria on Mardi Gras day. The Fifties also saw the replacement of mule drawn floats with ones drawn by tractors and the formation of several new krewes including Zeus. Zeus was the first krewe to parade in Metairie.
In 1961 Pete Fountain founded the Half-Fast Walking Club, an immediate hit with the crowds. Zulu came under pressure from portions of the black community who thought the krewe presented an undignified image. The king resigned and the parade was almost cancelled, but Zulu survived and was a main attraction by 1969. The Sixties ended with the debut of Bacchus. Bacchus aimed to bring national attention to Mardi Gras with gigantic floats and a Hollywood celebrity (Danny Kaye) riding as its king. Bacchus replaced the traditional ball with a supper to which tickets could be purchased by visitors and locals.
The Seventies saw the debut of 18 new krewes and the demise of 18 others. More than a dozen krewes followed the lead of Bacchus by placing celebrities in their parades. In 1974 Argus became the first Metairie parade on Fat Tuesday. This year also saw Endymion's rise to super krewe status. The Seventies brought a ban on parading in the French Quarter, ending a 117 year tradition. Mardi Gras made national headlines at the close of the decade with a police strike which cancelled 13 parades in Orleans Parish.
In the 80's Mardi Gras gained 27 new parades and lost 19. St. Bernard Parish suffered a net loss of parades while Jefferson and St. Tammany Parish experienced continued growth. By the end of the decade Jefferson Parish was experiencing an attendance rate of 600,000 people at its parades on Fat Tuesday.
The 1980's were were good times for Mardi Gras. In 1987 Rex brought back the custom of Lundi Gras, the arrival of the Rex King on the Mississippi River which had been celebrated from 1874 through 1917. The traditional tableau ball, however, lost popularity. Once considered essential, only 10 krewes continued the tradition of masked balls by the end of the decade. Doubloons also lost some of their popularity when several krewes stopped producing them.
Among the more discernable trends in mainstream Mardi Gras parades in recent years: a revival of satrie—thanks to the Krewe of Saturn, along with more recent upstarts Le Krewe d'Etat and the Knights of Chaos—an ever-increasing variety of (mostly customized) throw items, and a willingness on the part of some krewes to let outsiders join the fun—for a price.
The announcement of the formation the Krewe of America, in the summer of 1997, epitomized the latter trend. The krewe’s aggressive marketing tactics, and the fact that it was taking over the Mardi Gras parading slot once held by Comus, did not go over well with Carnival traditionalists alarmed at what they perceived as a tendency toward "creeping commercialism" in the festivities. In part because Krewe of America never manged to attract much support locally, it folded after the 2000 parade season.
Even though parading krewes come and go, with some falling on hard times, the "official" schedule keeps getting more crowded. During the 12 days and nights that ended on Fat Tuesday 2001, a record total of 28 parades rolled in the section of the city that falls on the east bank of the Mississippi.
While families still flock to the parades, the demographics of Carnival have been changing. Especially in the French Quarter, the festivities have taken on a Spring Break atmosphere, attracting visitors more interested in drunken escapades and flashes of nudity than Carnival’s cultural significance and storied pageantry.
What is really behind its Mask?
What does Mardi Gras mean! In French, Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday. This is a day to gorge and over indulge oneself before the seasonal religious practice of fasting, abstinence and denial. It is not surprising that the symbol for Mardi Gras is the "Bouef Gras"...... The fatten bull.
During the 12 days preceding Mardi Gras, more than 60 parades and hundreds of private parties, dances and masked balls are annually scheduled in the metro area.
Mardi Gras is an Ancient Greek and Roman, Ancient Greeks would sacrifice a goat, cut its hide in to strips and run naked through the fields while their pagan priests lashed them with the goat-hide strips. This was a part of their spring fertility rite to insure a productive harvest for their fields and increase the fertility of their flocks and women. The custom was degenerate even by pagan standards, being a time of sacrifice, lewdness, immorality, drunkenness and revelry and was associated with the worship of the Greek god "Pan".
Pagan priests accompanied by the idol, shower the crowds with spring flowers, herbs, grain and coins. Both good fortunes, spells, and curses were shouted, including the calls to the idol god to grant favor and blessings.
In The Roman celebration "lupercalia" a fertility festival, the worship of Lupercus involved cross dressing and masquerading to promote sexual orgies.
Who is Pan: Pan", besides being the Greek god of fields and pastures, was even more closely associated with cattle, flocks and herds than with agriculture. He was a fertility god and therefore always represented as crude, wanton and lustful. He took the form of half goat and half man, having the legs, ears, and horns of a goat (the goat is the ancient symbol of satan), but the torso, arms and face of a man.
The parade: is a worship of false gods (Greek origin) are worshiped by exalting an image above the assembly.
The celebration of Centaur exalts the same spirit of revelry and wanton abandonment, drunkenness, homosexuality, nudity and brawling all still exist today.
The church: The fixing of Easter allows the unscriptural religious celebration of Lent and ash Wednesday to follow Mardi Gras. Instead of resisting the ways of the pagans.
Lent: The word Lent has an obscure origin, and is probably a corruption of similar terms in ancient Anglo, Saxon, and Germanic languages, all of which referred to spring, new life, and hope. Although it is generally considered to be a time of mourning and repentance, it is also designated as a time of new life and hope because by means of the death of Christ, we receive new life.
The bull is the old testament symbol of Baal. 1st Kings 12:28 ---- 19:18 Exodus 32. Baal the bull is symbolic of strength and fertility. God condemns the production and worship of idols.
Steeped in Egyptian, Grecian, and Roman fertility rites. Half of the parades celebrate and honor false gods. The rest promote sex and drunkenness.
What’s behind the mask: "Masks are a way of being anonymous, and if you wear a mask, ' you take on a different persona.' Among the early tribes, men who wore masks were considered crueler toward their enemies than those who did not.
King Cake: In each cake is a small plastic baby. In New Orleans, popular custom holds that whoever receives the slice that contains the baby must purchase the next cake and throw a party.
Krewes: Mardi Gras organizations are non-profit clubs called krewes and many are named after mythological figures such as Aphrodite, Eros, Hermes, Pegasus and Thor. Each krewe is completely autonomous and there is no overall coordinator of Carnival activities. The secrecy with which some of the older krewes cloak themselves is part of the mystique of Mardi Gras. Several do not reveal the theme of the parade until the night of the event, and the identity of their royalty is never publicized.
About a dozen organizations dating from the 19th century use the Carnival ball as the highlight of the debutante season, as daughters of the socially elite members are presented at the city's Municipal Auditorium.
The Mistick Krewe of Comus coined the term “krewe” in 1857. In ancient mythology, from which many New Orleans krewes derive their names, Comus is the son of the necromancer Circe and reveler Bacchus.
Beads and trinkets: Beads and other trinkets, known as “throws,” have been tossed from floats since as least 1910 — transforming parades into a participatory experience, as spectators beg and scramble for treasure. Beads became part of an exchange ritual involving flashes of bare flesh — a phenomenon that stoked the market for more eye-catching, fancily designed necklaces. The flashing for beads the “primary ritual paradigm or worship of the gods is a form of “ceremonial exchange” that is not simply unstructured hedosm but rather a “ritualized enactment.
Meanings and Use of the Word "Warlock"
Why it's Seen as Negative by Modern Pagans
In many parts of the Pagan community, mention the word "warlock" and you'll be met with disapproving sneers and head shaking. Mention it to your non-Pagan friends, and they'll automatically think of movie baddies like Julian Sands, or the evil warlocks from Charmed. So what's the deal with the word warlock anyway? Why is it considered such a negative thing in modern Paganism?
Let's look at the different perceptions of warlock. There's one variation in which it's alleged to be a translation of a Saxon word, wǣrloga that means "oath-breaker." Naturally, no one wants to be called an oath-breaker, so folks tend to get up in arms about the use of warlock. Consequently, a lot of Wiccans and Pagans tend to distance themselves from the word.
In the book "ABC's of Witchcraft" by Doreen Valiente, the author states that the word is of Scottish origins, but goes no further in her explanation. Other writers have said that the term was originally used in Scotland to mean a cunning man, or a male witch, but that in recent centuries it has shifted to hold negative connotations. In recent years, dictionaries have expanded on its meaning, including the definition "liar" in the explanation.
Some of this may have to do with misinterpretations of meanings by monks who were trying to convert the Scots from their early Pagan religions to Christianity. After all, if a clan's cunning man was referred to as a warlock, and his activitiesclearly went against the teachings of the Christian churches, then obviously the word warlock must be pejorative.
Some Pagans are trying to reclaim the word warlock, much like the GLBT community has taken back queer and dyke. Partially because of this, a theory that has gained popularity is that warlock may have its roots in Norse mythology. In one of the poetic eddas, a song called the Vardlokkur is sung, to ward off evil spirits during a religious ceremony. The idea is that the Vardlokkur, as applied to a person, is a "spell singer", rather than a liar or oath-breaker.
Finally, the word warlock is used in some oathbound traditions of Wicca to mean a binding or tying. The person who binds an initiate during a ceremony is sometimes referred to as a warlock, or the ties themselves are the warlocks.
So -- what does that mean for today's Pagans and Wiccans? Can a male witch or mage refer to himself as a warlock without a bunch of negative fallout from the others in his community? The answer is a simple one. If you want to use it, and you can justify your use of the word to apply to yourself, then do so. Be prepared to defend your choice, but ultimately, it's your call.
by, Patti Washington
Regarding the origin of the term “Warlock”, I offer the following. As
you would know this title has frequently been identified with a male
witch. More recently many have disputed this due to its possible
reference to a “liar” or “betrayer of trust”, an oath-breaker. Others
choose to dismiss it because of the inclusion of “war” in the name.
Doreen Valiente in her book, “An ABC of Witchcraft” (pub. Hales 1973,
re-printed with corrections, 1984) states that the term has Scottish
origins, but doesn’t enlarge upon this at all. More interestingly, Nigel
Pennick in his, “Practical Magic in the Northern Tradition (pub.
Aquarian 1989) has the following to say:-
The Scots dialect word Warlock, meaning a cunning man or male white
witch, is rarely used today except pejoratively. Because dictionary
definitions have given it meanings like “liar”, it has fallen from use,
but it is clear that in reality it relates to the power to shut in or
enclose, i.e. a person with the capability of making binding spells.
This is found in the Norse tale Eir¡ks Saga Rauda. The story is set in
Greenland, some years after the Christian religion was imposed. A V”lva
(wise woman) conducting a ceremony asks the assembly that a song called
Vardlokkur should be sung to enable the continuation of the ceremony.
No-one knows it, except a girl on a visit from Iceland. She is
Christian, but has been taught it by her nurse. Reluctant at first to
sing the Vardlokkur, knowing it to be Pagan, eventually she is cajoled
into singing, and the ceremony is completed without interference. The
power of the warlock, then, is to ward off evil spirits and to lock or
bind them up.
Along similar lines, the following appeared in Vol IX no 5 (#49) of the
“Pagana” occult magazine:-
Warlock may come from the hypothetical (unattested) Old English waer-
loga, “oath-breaker”, or it may come from the (fully-attested) Old Norse
Vard-lokkur, “caller of spirits”.
Generally when looking at the origins of the words “warlock” and “witch”
(along with others), the Anglo-Saxon and Old English often need to be
traced to the Nordic languages. This makes sense when it is realised
that the Celts of Central Europe originated from the northern tribes,
before their culture mixed with that of the Mediterranean lands and the
aboriginal races of what is now Britain. It is well-known that due to
difficult access of the remote northern areas (i.e., for the Romans),
the Nordic/Saxon cultures retained a greater degree of purity within
their customs and language, so this may also be a contributing factor.
I also found the translation of “binder” for warlock of interest, as
this would seem to relate directly to the term’s usage within the
Alexandrian Book of Shadows, here being used as a reference to both the
action and the role of that person who does the binding of the applicant
during the initiation rite.
From John, South Australia:
I am happy to provide some information on the origin and development of
the word “Warlock” as requested in Web of Wyrd No. 3. According to the
Oxford English Dictionary (1989), the word “Warlock” is derived from the
Old English Waerloga which, in turn, is a compound of two words: waer
(truth, agreement) and loga (liar, deceiver), from the verb leogan (to
lie). Waer is cognate with the Old High German wƒra (truth), the Old
Norse v rar (vow) and the Latin verus (true). Leogan is cognate with the
modern German lgen (to lie). Hence the original meaning of waerloga is
“oathbreaker” – a serious crime in early times.
The earliest recorded use of waerloga dates from about C.E. 900 -
although it was probably in common usage well before that time. In
Middle English it becomes warloghe. The modern form with the “ck” ending
dates from about the 16th century. According to the English Dialect
Dictionary (1905) there are a number of different meanings of “warlock”:
1) A wizard or magician – hence warlock-breef (a wizard’s spell);
warlock-fecket (a magic jacket); warlockin (an imp), and warlock-knowe
(a meeting place of wizards). These words are mainly of Scottish
origin – however the use of the word warlock to mean “wizard” is
widespread from the earliest times. Why? Presumably because the
Christians regarded any practitioner of the Old Religion as a “liar” or
“deceiver” – in this sense, warlock is a derogatory term.
2) A method of tightening a rope or chain which binds the load on a
wagon – hence warlock’t (entangled) and warlock-knot (a hard knot in
timber). This is predominantly a Lancashire, Cheshire and Somerset
dialect. The method of binding is to wind the rope or chain loosely, and
then insert a lever which is twisted until the desired tightness is
achieved. In this sense, presumably it is a waer lock – a true lock; one
that will not come loose. This is, of course, the meaning used in the
Book of Shadows.
3) The common mustard (Sinapis nigra) or – possibly – the wild radish
(Raphanus raphanistrum) – a Suffolk dialect. This rather obscure meaning
of warlock is presumably a corruption of the country name charlock by
which the field mustard (Sinapis arvensis) is also known – not,
incidentally, Sinapis nigra, or black mustard – the dictionary is in
error here. Similarly, the wild radish also goes by the country name,
From Bridgit, Western Australia:
I put the question of warlocks to the Cauldron (a regular meeting of
High Priestesses in the Perth area). The general feeling was: Scottish
male witch, taken over by Hollywood/science fantasy. Irrelevant, haven’t
met any! One bright spark suggested that we ask the blokes! I’ll pass on
any further thoughts/research to you.
WARLOCK REVISITED by Matthew Sandow
This discussion about Warlocks developed out of a question that has been
interesting me for considerable time; namely, why do we as men call
ourselves Witches? I have always thought that a Witch was most
definitely a woman, and whilst I am sufficiently sure of my sex to use
the term Witch, I felt that it somehow didn’t quite fit. However when I
first started to ask whether the term Warlock was more accurate, and for
that matter appropriate to the religion, I encountered some very
interesting reactions. These ranged from:
. the term means oath breaker or traitor;
. there is no such person as a warlock. They never existed, or if
they did, then they don’t now;
. they are all satanists, and evil.
Generally people felt that the word was inappropriate, and the use of it
would bring Witches into disrepute. I have always been able to sense
which way the winds blow, so with all this in mind I firmly set off in
the opposite direction. One of the first things I did was to re-read the
section so often quoted to me from the book “Eight Sabbats for Witches”
by Stewart Farrar:
“But `warlock’, in the sense of `a male witch’, is Scottish Late Middle
English and entirely derogatory; its root means `traitor, enemy, devil’;
and if the very few modern male witches who call themselves warlocks
realized its origin, they would join the majority and share the title
`witch’ with their sisters.” (Introduction, note 6)
That all looked pretty definite and damning, and is the source of most
of the correspondence I received. My second piece of research concerned
tribal and primitive societies and their social structure. This was very
illuminating, because the most common factor in the way societies were
run was the principle of elders.
The chief was almost always a hereditary position handed down from
father to son or grandfather to grandson. He was the ultimate leader of
the clan or tribe and its survival was his direct responsibility. The
second principle force was the priest/witchdoctor/shaman, who was the
spiritual focus of the tribe. It may or may not be a hereditary
position, but was generally regarded as being in direct contact with the
gods. He had enormous say in the running of the tribe. The moving of the
tribe required favourable signs, and the interpretation of these was the
direct province of this person. If the signs were misread the tribe
could miss the migration of game, or be struck with unfavourable
weather. It was a great responsibility and the welfare of the tribe
depended on it.
The third principle was the war lord, whose role was the protection and
preservation of the clan and its property. This position was never a
right of hereditary succession, but rather one hard fought for. The war
lord was almost invariably the best and most capable warrior. He led the
fight for food and raids against enemies.
Between these three the clan was run, and run extraordinarily
efficiently. The duties of each were clearly defined and the roles of
each respected by all. That this was the case in primitive societies is
clear, but consider the situation of modern man where the roles are
still retained in different guises. The chief is the Prime
Minister/King/President, whose role is the general welfare of the
country/nation. The priest has not changed much except in dogma, and he
still reads the portends of good and evil to the population. The war
lord is charge of the police and the army.
It was only in the rare cases of one taking over the position of another
that balance was lost. History is full of examples of war lords seizing
power with terrible results, as society splits over loyalties to one or
other lord, and any reference to a modern theocracy shows the
limitations of religion and government.
In more primitive times usurping of a role was rare, because of role
acceptance, and the social security of being within that role. Any
departure from the sociably acceptable was to lead to being outlawed or
simply banished. Yet some did accept banishment or voluntarily left for
various reasons. Tribal legends abound of the shaman or the warrior who
left the security of the tribe to live in the wilderness where they
developed new techniques and philosophies. But as importantly, they
developed their magical abilities to the point of becoming superhuman,
and would come back to the tribe in times of great need as Heroes.
The next thing I thought about was how we as a modern society see
primitive cultures. Consider how fiction and faction portray the tribe.
I remember reading the tales of the white hunter amongst the savages in
Africa/America. The chief and our good clean hero become friends
(usually because the hero saves the chiefs son/daughter at great
personal risk) and everything would be rosy except for the evil
witchdoctor lurking in the background, or the vengeful dumped warrior of
the same saved daughter. These are always spiteful and evil characters
and as such we feel the justification when the hero kills them and leads
the now saved tribe into the modern world. Modern medicine will replace
the witchdoctor and white men with guns will replace the warrior, as the
tribe is put onto the reservation for its own good.
The wise women of the tribes who had been the herbalists and healers,
the mid wives and seers, became the Witches, and the shamans and war
lords became Warlocks. Each preserved and developed their own knowledge,
but also each preserved the gods and the religion of the old ways. By
living apart from the tribe they were able to survive, but the act of
living apart also separated them as a member of the society. Where they
had always been regarded with respect they were now respected with also
with fear, and this fear was certainly used by the Witches and Warlocks
in their own defence.
All this brings us back full circle, namely to the Warlock and our
definition of him. As has been correctly pointed out, the Oxford English
Dictionary defines the Warlock as a traitor or oathbreaker, and this is
certainly true in two ways:
1. The term is Old English, and derives from about 600CE, which is
when the monks were writing the books we now use as reference.
There are no prizes for guessing why these Pagan terms were less
than endearing. Any one who would not accept the new and true faith
of Christianity was evil and dangerous. By equating those who did
not accept the faith with evil, the new lords had the enemy firmly
sighted. The old gods became the new devils, and the followers of
the old ways were heretics and worshipers of demons. To follow the
old ways was dangerous and guarded with secrecy. The Witches and
Warlocks became separate from the general population, and followed
their own paths.
2. Again as has been correctly pointed out, the breaking of an oath
was of extreme importance at a time when a man’s word was his bond.
The making of an oath was done with great care and consideration.
When faced with the annihilation of his tribe by the conquerers,
the Chief has historically taken the option of surrender to
preserve the clan or tribe. An oath taken by the clan leader for
the surrender and saving of his people would only be broken in
great reverence by the younger men of the tribe. Thus the term
oathbreaker would be one of respect amongst the tribe, as these men
left to fight against their conquerers. An example of this is
Chochise who surrendered to the US Cavalry so that the women and
children would be saved, but allowed the young warriors to leave
under the leadership of his most able follower, Geronimo.
However, what most people ignore (or are simply unaware of) is that the
definition of oathbreaker is NOT the only reference to the Warlock, and
indeed the Complete Oxford Dictionary has considerably more information.
“This seems to have been the original sense of the present word,
but the special application to the Devil (either as a rebel, or a
deceiver) was already in OE the leading sense. The applications to
to sorcerers, with especial reference to the power of assuming
inhuman shapes, and to monsters (esp. serpents), appear to be
developments, partly due to Scriptural language, of the sense
“The modern forms with final -(c)k are of obscure origin, for they
appear first in Sc. of the 16th c., and owe their spread to Sc.
writers, and so cannot represent, as has been assumed, a Southern
sound-substitution of (k) for the -ch (x) of some of the rarer
North and Sc. forms. From the first they they have been used in the
sense “wizard”. Some other word, lost or not discovered , has perh.
influenced both form and sense.” (OED 1991)
Thus in the 10th c. the monks had connected the Warlock to those who
worshiped the Old Gods (devils), and who refused to accept the Christian
God, or did so in a superficial manner (deceitful). They had indeed been
recognised as rebels. What is also recognised is that the word was
already old in the 10th c. but its original meaning is lost, or at least
waiting to be rediscovered.
We cannot now discover what the original meaning was, but we can perhaps
get closer to the truth by looking at the “obscure ” refences. Several
people who have contacted me in reference to this article mentioned that
there are many references which do not seem to make any sense. One of
these is the association with the word Charlock which applies to various
field weeds, and especially to species of the genus Sinapis, Mustard.
Mustard is a very common weed and is obviously associated with the Sun
(hot taste, small yellow flowers). It is also a very good blood purifier
and its use as a compress to relieve congestion of the lungs would have
been very handy in cold, misty climates such as Northern European Winter
and Melbourne in Summer.
Another reference is in connection to binding or securing. To warlock
(or warlocke) was to secure (a horse) as with a fetterlock. It is also
used in reference to securing a load onto a cart. In rural South
Australia where I grew up, bales of wool are loaded onto a semi-trailer
and secured with a length of rope, in the very simple but effective
manner of running a loop of rope around the entire load, then tightening
it with a windlass of two short poles set at cross angles to each other.
The rope is looped over the end of one pole and twisted around it with
the other. We call this a Spanish Windlass at home, but it is obviously
the same method with a different name.
A Warlock is also used to mean a cairn or pile of stones (in
Scandinavian regions) which apparently served as beacons (lighthouses)
or as markers of territory. Another use of the term meant that a man
“warlocked” was magically immune to wounds inflicted by certain weapons
(commonly iron), which developed into the idea of being War-lucked.
Lastly the term meant “to bar against hostile invasion”. So a warlocked
nation was one which was protected (by Warlocks) against invasion,
rather than being embroiled in a war inside its territory.
It must be acknowledged that much of my research has shown that the
Warlock was a warrior whose lifestyle was frequently violent and short.
It is easy to either glorify his acts of valour, or accuse him of being
a thug, revelling in bloodshed. What is more difficult is to recognise
the middle path between extremes, and recognise that in the “Good Old
Days” life was extraordinary difficult and frequently short; that
violence was a way of life and death. Men and Women had very different
roles to those of today, and indeed that may be good reason in itself to
repudiate the idea of the Warlock. But I believe that in those days men
and women were more secure in their roles. Women ran the household and
indeed frequently were the owners of the land. Women probably had more
power and control over their lives than they do now.
Since Christianity women have lost their land, their rights, their magic
and their voice. Even today women have not regained what was previously
theirs by right. Men were put into the position of controlling the land
and all it contained. Remember the land given to the Christian Church
was frequently given by the women, and that the Abbeys were often run by
women. Only after the restructure of the Church did women lose all this
to become the subjugated nuns to the religion they helped set up. The
ones who did keep what was theirs became the Witches, and continued to
heal, teach and act as midwives in the more isolated areas. As is
happening in Nicaragua at the moment, the Witches were attacked for
fulfilling the role which was theirs. In 20th centurt Nicaragua Witches
are being taxed, ridiculed and oulawed because of the power and prestige
they hold in the community (and because they are cheaper and more
effetive than the “modern” doctors!).
We must recognise that the Witch and the Warlock are very old terms
which have been tampered with by people with a vested interest in doing
so. History is always written by the victor, but we have the opportunity
to question and change peoples’ attitudes towards us. We are Witches,
and should not change our name because of outsiders’ opinions. We have
all – Witch and non-Witch alike – been subjected to 1000 years or so of
negative influence. Now we have learnt the reality of Witchcraft, and
take pride in it. If we refuse to acknowledge the name Witch, we accept
that what has been written is true. The same holds for Warlock; just as
there are some very dubious people misusing the words Witchcraft and
Witch, so there are also people debasing the word Warlock. A Warlock is
not some plonker doing ritual sacrifice and Satanic worship any more
than is a Witch. Rather he is some one trying very hard to come to terms
with his own inherent powers as a man. By denying him this right we deny
all of the Craft their rights to worship the gods in balance.
The important thing to me personally about this whole issue of Warlocks
can be summed up as:
1. Whatever the word and its origin, the reality is how we use it now.
Many words have changed their meanings over the years to become
something totally different from the original.
2. Warlocks did exist.
3. Warlocks are not satanists or figments of Hollywood any more than
4. Being a Warlock is a legitimate title for a male Witch.
5. Witches and Warlocks are traditionaly outside of general society
and each have their own special brands of magic, neither being
inherently good or evil.
For Witches to denegrate Warlocks as evil or deluded is very dangerously
like using the same dogma that is trotted out by the fundamentalists.
No-one can afford to point fingers or throw stones at each other.
And lastly for those who like pigeon holing people: I am proud to be an
initiated Wiccan; a Priest of the religion; a Pagan; a Witch; and very
much also a Warlock.
by, matthew sandow
Male Witches or “Are you a Warlock?”
Oftentimes I meet people who aren’t sure how to approach this Wicca, Witchcraft, paganism, and Witches thing, other than what they see on television or through folklore and stories. Most of the time, I look at it as an opportunity to educate cowens (non-pagans) about what it is we do. Last year, I attended a pagan wedding which – because it was held on Samhain – attracted the attention of a large local newspaper. The print and photojournalists were really nice folks who seemed genuinely interested in our world and were very respectful and kind of our beliefs. How refreshing!
The journalist I spoke with wanted to know what the protocol and etiquette was of using the word “Warlock” to identify a male Witch, innocently of course. Couldn’t blame her for asking, since we’ve all been taught since we were little babes that a guy who practices magick was a Warlock. It got me to thinking, as I spent a few moments clarifying why that term is not widely used in the pagan community.
According to Wikipedia, the commonly accepted etymology derivesWarlock from the Old English wǣrloga meaning "oathbreaker" or "deceiver". It is considered in polite Witchy society to be a bit of an insult, and those who choose to call themselves are looked at a bit askance. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still used in pagandom, but usually by Luciferians, Satanists or simply uneducated Wiccans who are looking for a bit of a shock value.
It is said that during the period we pagans refer to as “The Burning Times” – what historians refer to as the Inquisition – Warlocks were those who would trade information for safety. They would happily divulge names, times & places of worship and real or made up details to keep the Inquisitors neck deep in Witches to torture, under the guise of God’s Grace. Today, we Witches still use the term “Warlock” as both a noun AND a verb. A Warlock refers to a person who has broken their oaths and has betrayed their coven and/or Tradition. It also refers to the act of the formal banishment of that individual from his or her coven or Tradition. If you hear of someone having been “Warlocked” from their tradition or group, it usually means they have been deemed an oathbreaker by a Council of Elders (or a similar tribunal) and it’s a hint and a half that this person has some significant baggage. I don’t know of many Witches who traffic with Warlocks. Certainly I don’t have high opinions of those who have been Warlocked, and give a wide berth to those who freely call themselves that.
Warlocks do exist but not in the definition of the mainstream. I’ve heard of pagans new to the Craft, especially males, who choose to refer to themselves as Warlocks. Some of these folks change their self-affixed labels when they are educated about the etymology of the word and the baggage behind it, but some hold onto this label. I’ve tried to be openminded about this, and understand that my way is not the only way to practice. Maybe the word “Warlock” is a name male Witches want to reclaim as their own. If that is the case, I think it would be a herculean task to change perceptions both within and without the pagan community.
Maybe this begs the question – do we as a pagan community need to come up with a word which describes a male Witch? Witch – as a word – often connotes a female, most likely through lore and common (mis)beliefs of the past centuries. While I like names to be gender neutral, it seems to me that our pagan men may feel like they are getting lost in a rather gynocentric religion. The desire to affix a label or moniker to separate themselves from the women of the Craft suggests that men wish to maintain their masculinity. I think it’s not a bad idea to consider. Unfortunately, the term “Warlock” in its current definition does not apply to 99.9% of male Witches in the Craft.
In Witchcraft today, a guy who is a Witch is just that – a male Witch. An argument can be made to simply use one name all the way around. A Witch is a Witch is a Witch. Male, female; straight, gay, bisexual, transgender; carnivore, vegan; what other labels you choose for yourself is your own business. Being a Witch is not about what plumbing you have, or what you prefer in this life. It is about identifying yourself with this particular belief system. The Gods don’t care very much about your gender. Come to think of it, they could care less about labels either!
So, I continue to tell people who ask that when they refer to a make Witch, they should simply say “Witch” or “Wiccan” if that is appropriate. Until such time when the term Warlock has better connotations within our own community, I think I’ll continue using the term Warlock as I was taught.
And what of that news story? The journalist didn’t call anyone a Warlock. Mission accomplished!
BY KAERWYN SILVERWOOD
So what is your truth per definition?
Warlock according to Wikipedia: The term warlock in origin means "traitor, oath breaker". In early modern Scots, the word came to be used as the male equivalent of witch (which could in origin be male or female, but became restricted to implying female gender). The commonly accepted etymology derives warlock from the Old English wǣrlogameaning "oath breaker" or "deceiver." A derivation from the Old Norse varð-lokkur, "caller of spirits," has also been suggested; however, the Oxford English Dictionary considers this etymology inadmissible because the term has very few found references.
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AURA COLOR MEANINGS
RED AURA: Relates to the physical body, heart or circulation. The densest color, it creates the most friction. Friction attracts or repels; money worries or obsessions; anger or unforgiveness; anxiety or nervousness.
DEEP RED: Grounded, realistic, active, strong will-power, survival-orientedd.
MUDDIED RED: Anger (repelling)
CLEAR RED: Passionate, powerful, energetic, competitive, sexual. In a good, bright and pure state, red energy can serve as a healthy ego.
PINK-BRIGHT AND LIGHT: Loving, tender, sensitive, sensual, artistic, affection, purity, compassion; new or revieved romantic relationship. Can indicate clairaudience.
DARK AND MURKY PINK: Immature and/or dishonest nature
ORANGE RED: Confidence, creative power.
ORANGE AURA: Relates to reproductive organs and emotions. The color of vitality, vigor, good health and excitement. Lots of energy and stamina, creative, productive, adventurous, courageous, outgoing social nature; currently experiencing stress related to apetites and addictions;
ORANGE-YELLOW: Creative, intelligent, detail oriented, perfectionist, scientific.
YELLOW AURA: Relates to the spleen and life energy. It is the color of awakening, inspiration, intelligence and action shared, creative, playful, optimistic, easy-going.
LIGHT OR PALE YELLOW: Emerging psychic and spiritual awareness; optimism and hopefulness; positive excitement about new ideas.
BRIGHT LEMON-YELLOW: Struggling to maintain power and control in a personal or business relationship; fear of losing control, prestige, respect, and/or power.
CLEAR GOLD METALLIC BRIGHT AND SHINY: Spiritual energy and power activated and awakened; an inspired person.
DARK BROWNISH YELLOW OR GOLD: A student, or one who is straining at studying; overly analitical to the point of feeling fatigued or stressed; trying to make up for "lost time" by learning everything all at once.
GREEN AURA: Relates to heart and lungs. It is a very comfortable, healthy color of nature. When seen in the aura this usually represents growth and balance, and most of all, something that leads to change. Love of people, animals, nature; teacher; social.
BRIGHT EMERALD GREEN: A healer, also a love-centered person.
YELLOW-GREEN: Creative with heart, communicative.
DARK OR MUDDY FOREST GREEN: Jealousy, resentment, feeling like a victim of the world; blaming self or others; insecurity and low self-esteem; lack of understanding personal responsibility; sensitive to perceived criticism.
TURQUOISE: Relates to the immune system. Sensitive, compassionate, healer, therapist.
BLUE AURA: Relates to the throat, thyroid. Cool, calm, and collected. Caring, loving, love to help others, sensitive, intuitive.
SOFT BLUE: Peacefulness, clarity and communication; truthful; intuitive
BRIGHT ROYAL BLUE: Clairvoyant; highly spiritual nature; generous; on the right path; new opportunities are coming.
DARK OR MUDDY BLUE: Fear of the future; fear of self-expression; fear of facing or speaking the truth.
INDIGO AURA: Relates to the third eye, visual and pituitary gland. Intuitive, sensitive, deep feeling.
VIOLET AURA: Relates to crown, pineal gland and nervous system. The most sensitive and wisest of colors. This is the intuitive color in the aura, and reveals psychic power of attunement with self. Intuitive, visionary, futuristic, idealistic, artistic, magical.
LAVENDER AURA: Imagination, visionary, daydreamer, etheric.
SILVER AURA: This is the color of abundance, both spiritual and physical. Lots of bright silver can reflect to plenty of money, and/or awakening of the cosmic mind.
BRIGHT METALLIC SILIVER: Receptive to new ideas; intuitive; nurturing
DARK AND MUDDY GRAY: Residue of fear is accumulating in the body, with a potential for health problems, especially if gray clusters seen in specific areas of the body.
GOLD AURA: The color of enlightenment and divine protection. When seen within the aura, it says that the person is being guided by their highest good. It is divine guidance. Protection, wisdom, inner knowledge, spiritual mind, intuitive thinker.
BLACK AURA: Draws or pulls energy to it and in so doing, transforms it. It captures light and consumes it. Usually indicates long-term unforgiveness (toward others or another) collected in a specific area of the body, which can lead to health problems; also, entitities within a person's aura, chakras, or body; past life hurts; unreleased grief from abortions if it appears in the ovaries.
WHITE AURA: Reflects other energy. A pure state of light. Often represents a new, not yet designated energy in the aura. Spiritual, etheric and non-physical qualities, transcendent, higher dimensions. Purity and truth; angelic qualities.
WHITE SPARKLES OR FLASHES OF WHITE LIGHT: Angels are nearby; can indicate that the person is pregnant or will be soon.
EARTH COLORS AURA: Soil, wood, mineral, plant. These colors display a love of the Earth, of being grounded and is seen in those who live and work on the outdoors....construction, farming, etc. These colors are important and are a good sign.
RAINBOWS: Rainbow-colored stripes, sticking out like sunbeams from the hand, head or body: A Reiki healer, or a starperson (someone who is in the first incarnation on Earth).
PASTELS: A sensitive blend of light and color, more so than basic colors. Shows sensitivity and a need for serenity.
DIRTY BROWN OVERLAY: Holding on to energies. Insecurity.
DIRTY GRAY OVERLY: Blocking energies. Guardedness.
Julia Margaret Pattle was born in British India, on June 11, 1815, the daughter of an official in the Bengal Civil Service and a descendant of the French aristocracy. After her early years she received an education in France and England, returning to India in 1834. Four years later, in 1838, she married Charles Hay Cameron, twenty years her senior (Lukitsh 285). In 1848, after Charles retired, he and Julia returned to England where they raised five children, adding a sixth in 1857 when they adopted Mary Ryan. Through Julia's sister, Sarah Prinsep, the new arrivals cultivated a wide circle of elite, intellectual friends. It is this company of friends, family, and servants that Cameron used as models for her "tableux vivants" (Lukitsh 286).
In the course of her lifetime Cameron would come to know of the push for women's emancipation, the end of slavery in America, and the emergence of a new medium -- photography. Through her photography, Cameron expanded on the Victorian ideal and transcended her family legacy of women noted solely for their beauty. The aristocratic salons fostered her intellectual and artistic interest, and her social position afforded her the opportunity to pursue the arts and sciences while managing an active household.
In 1860, the family business required Charles and his sons to return to Sri Lanka, at which time the remainder of the family took up residence in Freshwater, Isle of Wight. It was then that Cameron became a neighbor and close friend toAlfred Lord Tennyson and his family.
By 1863, the coffee plantations, which provided the Camerons with the time and resources to entertain, began to suffer. Charles was again called away and, in his absence, Julia received a camera from her daughter and her son-in-law as a birthday gift. It is widely held that the young couple hoped to provide some diversion for her while Charles was attending to financial crises in Sri Lanka (Malcom 10). Her daughter, Julia, may have been aware of Cameron's rudimentary interest in photography when she suggested "It may amuse you, mother, to try to photograph during your solitude at Freshwater" (Malcolm 10).
Julia tried enthusiastically. The newly discovered ability of the photograph to create and document beauty triggered a fashionable interest as well as a heated debate as to whether or not the medium constituted art. Cameron's view is clearly stated in a letter to Sir John Herschel, to whom she writes, "My aspirations are to ennoble Photography and to secure for it the character and uses of High Art by combining the real and ideal sacrificing nothing of Truth by all possible devotion to Poetry and beauty" (Johnson 364).
By the year 1869, many women aspired to lives that involved less sacrifice than convention called for, and John Stuart Mill had published his feminist plea entitled On the Subjection of Women. Some maintain that Cameron was a purely Victorian woman, who held firm to the subordinate female role outlined by her Bible and society. It has been stated that her photographic collections are an indication that she "accepted maternity and marriage as high and holy offices" (Malcolm 12). Cameron maintained her matriarchal role, pursued her work, and received financial rewards as well as professional recognition while transcending conventional femininity, which required women to choose between home and career.
Her career could not have been more timely, as the coffee crops failed in Ceylon, Cameron was paid by Charles Darwin for the portraits she had produced of him. Her most highly acclaimed work included portraiture, but she also created allegorical narratives, tableaux vivants, and spiritual meditation in her photography. Her images, which often appear to have a degree of "theatricality and artificiality" (Malcom 14), offer typological interpretation of the Bible and anticipate the Pre-Raphaelite painters by one generation (Weaver 15). The soft focus, which serves as her trademark, was initially achieved by accident (Malcolm 14). While critics may look back and see a life of eccentricity and self-indulgence, it is difficult to accept claims that Cameron had not intended her family to benefit from her endeavors. In an ironic twist of fate, the thoughtful gift she had received from her daughter was to become a source of solace. In 1873, ten years after receiving her first camera, Cameron lost her first and only biological daughter, Julia. Symbolic of Cameron's quieted spirit, there are no records of any published photographs in that year. In his recollection of young Julia, Henry Taylor captures the void that Cameron's friends and family suffered. She had, he observed, "An entire simplicity, and unconscious honesty of mind...strength of understanding and clearness of purpose...resilience which is so often...regarded as a provision of Nature, and her originality took, along with other forms, the form of a determination to be commonplace" (Mozley 14).
Determination appears to have been characteristic of the Cameron women; the mother seemed to recall her daughter's gift and words, "try to photograph during your solitude," and Cameron forged ahead with her art. While the void born of her daughter's death remained, Cameron was not isolated for very long.
Cameron was surrounded by the visionary artists Lewis Carroll, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. One of the more prominent influences in Cameron's work was Henry Peach Robinson, who believed photography should follow the artistic rules of composition for the canvas (Bogardus 101). George F. Watts encouraged her use of symbolism. The salon atmosphere of her gatherings established a degree of equality and trust between the sexes, and Cameron appears to have won the respect of her peers, despite the fact that the artistic value of photography was still widely questioned. Tennyson, before a photographic seating took place, once warned his friend in earnest, "Longfellow, you will have to do whatever she tells you. I shall return soon and see what is left of you" (Millard 188).
The "distraction" of her camera had evolved to a vocation that allowed Cameron to reflect on the issues and influence of her culture, using the medium to negotiate her own identity, and influence the destiny of others. Her portraits effectively celebrated the artists of her elite circle of friends and contributed to public recognition of men such as Henry Taylor, Sir John Herschel, and Robert Browning. While her fame seems to rest on her images of famous men, more recent analysis reveals a "more complex and enigmatic" (Malcolm 14) representation of women, suggestive of a feminist reading of her work.
Cameron's photographs show women in sharp contrast to the objectified female images previously represented in photography. Her women emanate purity through the lighting, and the fact that many of her figures appear out of focus suggests that she wished to emancipate the woman from a rigidly discounted identity. The collective woman could potentially be redefined as being free from the sins of Eve while her conventional attributes were represented permanently in the foreground. In her print "Girl Praying" (1866) one sees the child surrounded by, as well as filled with, light. The 1872 image "A Study of a Holy Family" shows a mother, almost Christ-like in her crown and bare shoulders, subdued by the cross. Additionally, the "Pensive Nun" image, in which Cameron has emblazoned a cross of light on the forehead of her subject, denotes a spiritual mind in woman -- divinely recognized -- that has historically been discounted by mortal man. The injustices done to women by patriarchal convention also resonate in the somber gaze of her "Hypatia," the scientist/physician who was killed by a Christian mob for her attempts at inclusion in the male-dominated realm.
Most significantly, Cameron sought to redeem women through England's Arthurian legend. In August, 1874, Tennyson requested that Cameron capture the sentiment of his verse in her art for The People's Edition of, The Idylls of the King. Her work captures both the text and the context of Tennyson's work, portraying the diversity of characters and representation of consequences for rigidly maintained principles, doctrines, and passions.
Although Cameron created approximately two hundred images, forty-two of which depicted The Parting of Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere, only two of her photographs were selected for the publication, and these were to be reproduced as woodcuts of a reduced size (Millard 188). Determined to see her creations exhibited in their full size and features, Cameron arranged for Henry S. King to publish an analogous volume entitled Illustrations to Tennyson's Idylls of the King, and Other Poems, which was produced with images made directly from her negatives in 1875 (Mozley 14).
Cameron's photographs reflect Tennyson's circumspect approach to the binary oppositions of male and female, good and evil, or true and false. As had Chaucer, these artists seek to import the duality of the individual in their art to subvert socially constructed identities and hierarchies. Cameron translated Tennyson's world of "flesh and shadow" ("The Last Tournament", 315-16) with costumes, props, and lighting to both support and subvert the stains assigned to various characters. The sequence and substance of her photographs capture the symbolism of the double-edged Arthurian sword, Excalibur, showing how men, and women, are taken up or cast away.
Cameron's illustrations are culled from the segments entitled "Gareth and Lynette", "Geraint and Enid", "Merlin and Vivien", "Lancelot and Elaine", "The Holy Grail", "Guinevere", and "The Passing of Arthur". While the actual images available in different albums vary slightly, and Cameron's choice of caption is inconsistent, each segment presented in her albums alternately questions the human failings of male and female, however, her photograph of Galahad and the Grail Maiden represents the achievement by a man and woman of a common faith in The Holy Grail.
The first illustration to the Idylls is Gareth and Lynette, which portrays a remorseful Lynette tenderly watching over Gareth. Cameron has penned the lines "Worse the being fool'd of others,/ is to fool one's self" ("Gareth and Lynette" 1242-43). This scene of nurturing provides and reinvents an identity for Lynette, who is traditionally portrayed spurning the kitchen-knave knight. The garden imagery reflects an Edenic scene, signifying woman as one with Nature and reinforcing Victorian concepts of woman as a reconciling entity.
Cameron and Tennyson both counter the initially harsh female in the first tale with the second poem entitled "Geraint and Enid". The photograph depicts Enid acquiescing to the demands of her husband with the caption, "If Enid errs, let Enid learn her fault!" ("The Marriage of Geraint", 132). Enid returns to her wardrobe, at her husbands order, for the faded silk dress that he will require her to wear. Cameron uses a soft focus and arranges for an ethereal light to fall upon the devoted and maligned wife.
The third image, Merlin and Vivien, aligns the fall of Camelot with the fall of Eden. The serpentine qualities allocated to Vivien are apparent in the lines Cameron had underscored in the volume:
And lissome Vivien, holding by his heel,
Writhed toward him, slided up his knee and sat
Behind his ankle twined her hollow feet
Together, curved an arm about his neck,
Clung like a snake; and letting her left hand
Droop from his mighty shoulder, as a leaf,
Made with her right a comb of pearl to part
The lists of such a beard as youth gone out
Had left in ashes... ("Merlin and Vivien", 236-44).
Although Vivien appears to subordinate herself to Merlin in the text, Cameron negates this servitude by enthroning Vivien in the center of the image and allowing her model's presence to all but obscure that of Merlin. The photograph also depicts the lovers/rivals in an intimate negotiation which few other illustrators have elected to highlight. (See Eleanor Fortesque Brickdale's depiction of this scene for a similar positioning).
The tension and reciprocity between man and woman is found also in the fourth image of Vivien and Merlin. This image resembles most illustrations in that the intimacy between the two is replaced with consternation and distance. Cameron captures the moment of betrayal as defined by Tennyson's lines, "Then, in one moment, she put forth the charm/ Of woven paces and of waving hands" ("Merlin and Vivien", 965-66).
The combination of these two images offers the audience alternative dynamics for the male/female relationship; they may be cooperative or oppositional. Cameron has highlighted her partially disrobed model of Vivien to signify the character's shame and guilt. Further, the placement of the two subjects affords Vivien, who appears to float above Merlin, a dominant location. From this height, Vivien extends a condemning finger at Merlin, remanding him to an ancient oak in keeping with Tennyson's text.
Cameron then depicts Elaine, the willing victim of love who, although in great contrast to Vivien, is equally self-serving and willful in her passions. In this particular image, the despondent Elaine rests beside the cover she had woven for Lancelot's shield. The cover, to which Elaine had added a border of branch, flower and yellow-throated nestling, is a metaphor for the romantic fantasy she had constructed around Lancelot in her mind. Left only with the remnant of her own work, Elaine sings her "Song of Love and Death" ("Lancelot and Elaine", 997). Cameron portrays Elaine as one resigned to be cast away, a woman possessed by the rapture of passion. The art of photography imitates other forms of art in that Cameron etched the branch, flower, and bird designs of the shield cover directly onto her glass plate negative. The illusion devised with her camera and equipment also signifies the manner in which humans willfully impose their vision on reality.
The consequences of unrequited passion are evidenced in Cameron's image of Elaine in the barge, a scene in which the cover of Lancelot's shield hovers above the corpse. Cameron arranges the drastic contrast between the singing Elaine of the former image and the now silent maiden being rowed away.
Silence engulfs Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot as they confront the cost of passion in Elaine at Camelot, in which the lifeless Elaine rests under their gaze. Cameron echoes this silence with the absence of any caption. She also arranges for the male characters to be consigned to the shadows, while the lighting and centrality of the women establishes a bond between Guinevere and Elaine. This scene seems to speak subtly to Cameron's own sense of loss regarding her late daughter, and to the photographer's affection, empathy, and admiration for her own sex.
The contributions of women, which have been absent in many illustrations of the legend, are highlighted further in Cameron's visual adaptation of "The Holy Grail". Traditionally, this segment is depicted with Galahad and the Grail, or the relationship between Galahad and the Nun shows the latter as a subordinate through placement and lighting. Some of these representations include "The Golden Girdle" by Ernest Chapman, "Galahad and Percival's Sister" by Lancelot Speed,"The Communion of the Holy Grail" by Franz Stassen. Cameron has placed the two side by side, identifying marriage as an achievement of shared faith, beneficence, and agency.
The passion of this woman is a "deathless passion" ("The Holy Grail", 163) which removes her from the mortal realm of flesh and shadows. Although Arthur recognizes that there is none holier than she, he defines the nun's significance as "a sign to maim this Order which I made" ("The Holy Grail", 296-97). Ironically, it is the mortal passion of Camelot's most renowned woman, Guinevere, that is framed as the greatest stain on Arthur's Order.
Arthur's earthly queen appears to have found no happiness in her sin in "The Parting of Lancelot and Guinevere." The queen and the once stainless knight, Lancelot, are cast in partial darkness, and the costume, pose, and lighting convey the doom that hovers over the lovers. Lancelot, in profile, is cloaked in shadows to suggest the dark aspect of his nature that is often overlooked. Although Guinevere is also shown in partial profile, she is made to appear the victim of a greater force. The placement of hands shows that the two have acted in concert, but the queen is dressed in white, bathed in light, and bent under the will of her lover. The pose emphasizes the concept that Guinevere was the pawn that society required women -- even a queen -- to be. Cameron reveals Guinevere as a soul struggling to maintain her vows and innocence, and the harmony of Camelot, where the dominance of the male is unquestioned. The attendant lines detail the queen's repeated plea; "Passion-pale they met and greeted.../ O Lancelot, if thou love me get thee hence./ And Lancelot ever promised, but remained..." ("Guinevere", 92-8 as arranged by Cameron).
The consequences of Guinevere's indiscretion are witnessed in Cameron's next image, Guinevere and the Novice. Cameron has placed the queen on a different form of throne, and her rigid stance and remote glance reflect her loss of all joy. It is possible that Cameron's personal sense of loss regarding her late daughter is revealed in the abyss that resides between the two females in the photograph. The solace Cameron found in children, her absent daughter in particular, seems to be underscored with lines culled from the Guinevere section of the text; "But communed only with the little maid,/ Who pleased her with a babbling heedlessness" ("Guinevere", 148-9).
The next image to be presented is that of King Arthur. In his helmet, a "golden dragon sparkling over all" ("Holy Grail", 263), Cameron has captured Tennyson's sense that Arthur has not made his "high place the lawless perch/ Of wing'd ambitions, nor a vantage-ground/ for pleasure" ("Dedication", 21-3). Concurrently, the image accentuates the remoteness of the stainless King, that aspect of the man which Guinevere perceived to be "cold,/ High, self-contained, and passionless" ("Guinevere", 402-3). Arthur's majesty makes the queen's observation that one "who loves me must have a touch of earth" ("Lancelot and Elaine", 133) understandable. The photographer noted the following words from Tennyson's poems to highlight the difference between the immortal man and his mortal wife: "And even then he turned.../who seemed the phantom of a giant" ("Guinevere", 596,598).
Cameron's final image of The Passing of Arthur does not make the King central to the photograph; Cameron bears the king "to the margin" ("The Passing of Arthur", 333), where he lay "like a shatter'd column" ("The Passing of Arthur", 389). The dying Arthur is not "companionless" ("The Passing of Arthur", 404) as he is attended by the three Queens. Behind these women stand robed, stately forms, who hide their foreheads and eyes, have turned their backs to the King. All, save the three Queens, are subordinated in relation to Arthur by shadows, darkness, and strength of will. The women appear to be "the Powers who walk the world" ("The Coming of Arthur", 106) and seem "clothed in living light" ("The Passing of Arthur", 454). They attend to his needs and celebrate the role of women as nurturers and healers, bringing the imagery of Cameron's illustrations full circle. The scene of Lynette's mortal skill in nurturing Gareth that began the collection is balanced by this concluding image of supernatural restoration. The intimacy Cameron has arranged between this man and these women suggests something immortal, not only in the characters, but in the relationship between men and women. The cross of the vessel, a visual that Cameron achieved by making masts out of broomsticks (Malcolm, 14), signifies the journey of the once and future king, perpetuating the Arthurian myth and Christian ideology. Cameron's image of the king is attended by Arthur's decree: "King I am, whatsoever be their cry." ("The Passing of Arthur", 162)
Cameron's photographs for Tennyson's Idylls were not well received by her contemporary critics: Clive Bell admonished her for "trying to make a photograph look like a picture" and Roger Fry stated that they were "failures from an aesthetic standpoint" (Millett 201). An even more harsh critique came from Helmut Gernsheim, who stated that Cameron failed to recognize the limitations of the medium, and that "the Pre-Raphaelites dedicated some of their best work to Tennyson -- Mrs. Cameron, some of her worst" (Millett 201). Despite misgivings over artistic application of the new medium and Cameron's skill, her work on the Idylls reflects a powerful new form of imaging that brought the legends of Camelot into a new light.
The "dirty nurse, experience" ( "The Last Tournament", 317) had taught Cameron, specifically through her relationship with Charles, that a unified realm requires one will. In 1879, in compliance with Charles' wish to end his earthly days among his sons, Julia reluctantly returned to India. In Ceylon, Cameron briefly continued her craft on a lesser scale, capturing images of the plantation workers and regional women before falling fatally ill. Her great-niece, Virginia Woolf, depicted Cameron's final moments, stating that the photographer "lying before an open window saw the stars shining, breathed the one word 'Beautiful'" (Mozley 17).
While many discount Cameron's work as melodramatic or amateurish, her artistic applications expanded on the documentary uses of the photographic medium. The contributions of this muse, are an enchanting legacy showing that "the goal of this great world lies beyond sight" ("To the Queen", 59-60).
The University of California, Wellesley, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Harvard are only a few of the institutions which have internal electronic galleries of Cameron's work. The Royal Photographic Society owns approximately 800 of her albumen and carbon prints in addition to a handwritten manuscript of her autobiography. The George Eastman House is in possession of some of Cameron's equipment, and also offers an extensive online gallery of Cameron's photography. The Cameron Trust, an extensive and permanent gallery, enables one to view Dimbola, Cameron's home in England on the Isle of Wight, as well as a small electronic gallery of Cameron's work.
Biography written by: Katherine Marsh
by: Anne Bannerman (Author)
from: Tales of Superstition and Chivalry (Pp. 125 - 144) 1802
For three long nights had King Arthur watch'd,The light from the turret shone!For three long nights had King Arthur wak'd,He pass'd them all alone!
On the fourth, at the first hour's summon bell,As the warder walk'd his round,A figure cross'd at the postern gate,That enters underground;
All wrapt it was in a monkish cowl,By the gate-lamp burning dim,When a double shadow slid across,And another stood by him!
In low and broken tones they spoke,Till the fourth hour ceas'd to ring:That monk had Merlin's giant form,The other was the king.
The morning shone on Camlan hills,And the summon horn was blown;But not a knight would mount the tow'rWhere Arthur watch'd alone!
When noon was past, the king came down,He bore his dragon shield;And dark and dread was his clouded brow,On the eve of Camlan field!
Slowly past that fateful eve,And sad it wore away;And sad and silent was the kingAs he watch'd the break of day;
All down the slope of Camlan hill,And along the river's side,The rebel bands were posted round,Since the fall of eventide:
From the signal posts the shout begins,When the sky was bright and clear;And the red sun shone on the steel dragon,On King Arthur's standard-spear!
Above the rest was Britain's crestIn living flame enroll'd!And the Virgin's form, in silver wrought,With the brazon dragon bold! 
O! in the field of Camlan fight,Ere the burning noon was o'er,The red blood ran, like a river-wave,On the dry and parched shore:
King Arthur spurr'd his foaming horseAmid that living flood! And twice he wav'd his witched swordWhere the dauntless Modred stood!
But who could stand by Arthur's side,When that steel of terror shone?When the fire of wroth was in his eye,And he rais'd his arm alone!
That sun that blaz'd in middle sky,And flam'd on hill and dell;Its westering light had sunk in night,When the mighty Modred fell!
But the blood that flows is Arthur's blood, His fiery eye is dim!And a dew like death is on his face,And over every limb!
He lean'd him down on his dragon shield,He clasp'd his beaver on!And the gushing blood it ceas'd at once,But they heard no dying groan.
O! how they strove till the night came on,And all to raise that masque again!And every arm by turns had tried,But every arm was vain!
They held him in their arms, and weptWith tears of deep despair!Till they fear'd to touch that plate armour,For the sound was hollow there!
Then they drew that witched sword,And they heard the armour ring!They wav'd it twice in Merlin's nameBefore they touch'd the king.
At once the cross-lace open'd wide,They felt the rushing air!But that mail was hollow as the grave,Nor form, nor body there.
As wild they gaz'd, the iron ringsWere clasped as before!But the tongue that call'd on Merlin's nameWas dumb for ever more!
Mean time, the king was borne away,In deep and death-like sleep the while,To the charmed sea, by magic spell,By the Queen of the Yellow Isle!
And when his tranced soul was rous'd,He thought, and thought how this might be,For there was nought but sea and skyAs far as he could see.
King Arthur gaz'd on the calmed surge,So clear beyond compare!But neither the form of living man,Nor the sound of life was there:
The ship it mov'd on the sleeping waveLike a bird upon the air;He knew it gained on the deep,But he felt no motion there!
O, then! he had no trace of timeHow long he was on that pathless sea!But he could have rested there for aye,So sweet it seem'd to be!
How many times he watch'd the sun,And saw it sink, he never knew;For it ne'er was more than faint twilightIn that sky of stainless blue!
Ah! then he thought, within that shipHe ever more was doom'd to be!And he had not once bethought him yetOf Merlin's prophecy!
Those sleepless nights he watch'd alone,When the damps of midnight fell!That voice, of more than human tone,He heard in Merlin's cell; 
That night, the eve of Camlan fight,When he felt his courage fail;When the chill of death was on his brow,Like a bloodless vision pale;
That night, his knocking knees refus'dTo bear him from the cave;When, press'd in his, the hand of bloodIts deadly pressure gave!
Clear was the sky, and O! with thisWhat summer could compare?What woes could press on Arthur's heart,When he breath'd that blessed air?
Clear was the sky! the ship drew nearWithout the aid of wind or toil!And, lighted by the morning sun,He saw the charmed Isle!
The ship was steady on her keel,Wash'd by that soft and lovely flood;And, blushing, on the yellow beach,The Queen of Beauty stood.
High in one hand, of snowy white,A cup of sparkling pearl she bore;And she reach'd it to the tranced kingAs he knelt upon the shore:
All pallid now was Arthur's brow,While he took the draught she gave;For he thought on what the hand of bloodHad mingled in the cave:
He thought on what the fiend pronounc'd,That Merlin's spirit brought;And he fix'd his eyes on that ladie's face,And trembled at the thought.
Ah! in these eyes, of softest blue,What magic dwells, to lull the soul!And Arthur saw their mild reproach,And rais'd the fraughted bowl!
His lips have drain'd that sparkling cup,And he turn'd on her his raptur'd eyes!When something, like a demon-smile,Betray'd the smooth disguise!
He started up! he call'd aloud!And, wild, survey'd her as she stood:When she rais'd aloof the other arm,And he knew the hand of blood!
The voice, that answer'd to his call,Was that he heard within the cave!When the mighty form of UrienWas roused from the grave! 
It told him, that the hour was comeHe too must slumber in the cave;When nought would reach his burial-place,But the murmurs of the wave!
It told him of the years to passBefore his kingdom he could see:And Arthur knew he would return,From Merlin's prophecy. 
King Arthur's body was not found,Nor ever laid in holy grave:And nought has reach'd his burial-place,But the murmurs of the wave.