Archives For Religion


Taken from the Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions

Here is a dose of daily religion from A to Z.

Today’s religious topic is as follows:

”Saint Andrews”,  (d. traditionally 60/70 CE, Patras, Achaia [Greece]; feast day November 30), one of the Twelve APOSTLES and brother of St. PETER. He is the patron saint of Scotland and of Russia.

In the SYNOPTIC GOSPELS (Matthew, Mark and Luke), Peter and Andrew were called from their fishing b Jesus to follow him, promising that he would make them fishers of men. In John’s Gospel he is the first apostle name, and he was a disciple of ST. JOHN THE BAPTISTS before Jesus’ call.

Early Byzantine tradition (dependent on John 1:40) calls Andrew protokletos, “first called.” Legends recount his missionary activity in the area about the Black Sea. Apocryphal writings centered on him include the Acts of Andrew, Acts of Andrew and Matthias, and Acts of Peter and Andrew. A 4th-century account reports his death by CRUCIFIXION, and late medieval accretions describe the cross as X-shaped. He is incon-graphically represented with an X-shaped cross.

ST. JEROME records that Andrew’s relics were taken from Patras (modern Pátrai) to Constantinople (modern Istanbul) by command of the Roman emperor Constantius II in 357. From there the body was taken to Amalfi, Italy (Church of Sant’ Andrea), in 1208, and in the 15th century the head was taken to Rome (St. Peter’s, Vatican City). In September 1964 Pope Paul VI returned Andrew’s head to Pátrai as a gesture of goodwill toward the Christians of Greece.

(Comeback on 10/21/14 and continue to learn about religion. Tomorrow you’ll read and learn more about “Androgyny”.

#Today’sReligiousTopicOfTheDay, #poetsareangels.com, @FelinaSilver


Taken from the Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions

Here is a dose of daily religion from A to Z.

Today’s religious topic is as follows:

”Andania Mysteries”,  ancient Greek mystery cult, held in honor of the goddess DEMETER and her daughter Kore (PERSEPHONE) at the town of Andania in Messenia. An inscription of 92 BCE gives directions for the conduct of the rites, although it relates no details of the initiation ceremonies. The ritual was performed by certain “holy ones” of both sexes, who were chosen from the various tribes.

Initiation seems to have been open to men, women, and children, bonded and free, and all costumes were to be severely plain and inexpensive material. An excetion was made for those who were to be “costumed into the likeness of deities,” possibly indicating that a pageant or drama was performed. There was a procession, precedence in which was strictly regulated, and the main ceremonial was preceded by sacrifices to a number of deities.

Demeter drives her horse-drawn chariot containing her daughter Persephone at Selinunte, Sicily 6th century BC.

(Comeback on 10/20/14 and continue to learn about religion. Tomorrow you’ll read and learn more about “Saint Andrew”.

#Today’sReligiousTopicOfTheDay, #poetsareangels.com, @FelinaSilver


Taken from the Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions

Here is a dose of daily religion from A to Z.

Today’s religious topic is as follows:

”Anchises”,  in Greek mythology, member of the royal family of Troy; he was king of DARDANUS on Mount Ida. The goddess APHRODITE met him and bore him AENEAS. For revealing the name of the child’s mother, Anchises was killed or struck blind by lightning. In later legend and in Virgil’s Aeneid, he was conveyed out of Troy on the shoulders of his son Aeneas.

Aeneas flees burning Troy, Federico Barocci, 1598.

(Comeback on 10/19/14 and continue to learn about religion. Tomorrow you’ll read and learn more about “Andania Mysteries”.

#Today’sReligiousTopicOfTheDay, #poetsareangels.com, @FelinaSilver


Taken from the Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions

Here is a dose of daily religion from A to Z.

Today’s religious topic is as follows:

”Ancestor Worship”,  any of a variety of religious beliefs and practices concerned with the spirits of dead persons regarded as relatives, some of whom may be mythical.

The core of ancestor worship is the belief in the continuing existence of the dead and in a close relation between the living and the dead, who continue to influence the affairs of the living. The spirits of the dead are often thought to help the living, but they often are thought to harm if not propitiated. Veneration is shown those  persons who in their lifetimes held positions of importance, such as heads of families, lineages, clans, tribes, kingdoms, and other social groups. In some societies only the spirits of the recently deceased are given attention; in others, all ancestors, near and remote in time, are included. In still other societies, on ancestor may be the focus of attention, and he or she is often regarded as a hero. In most societies, ancestor worship was only one element of a complex of SUPERNATURALISM and seldom a dominant feature.

The presence or absence of ancestor worship relates in a general way to the importance of KINSHIP in the societies concerned. Where continuity of kinship ad inheritance of property are very important, elders are characteristically regarded with respect, and the persistence of bonds of affinity with ancestors is favored. In modern China and Japan, where the importance of kinship and the size of kin groups have declined, traditional practices of ancestor worship have correspondingly declined.

All of the behavior and practices that are customary with regards to other kinds of supernatural beings are found in rites of ancestral worship—veneration and propitiation in the forms of prayers, offerings, sacrifices, the maintenance of moral standards, and festivals of honor that may include pageantry, music, dance, and other forms of art. Perhaps the only truly distinctive ritual acts of ancestor worship are commemorative ceremonies, held annually or at other fixed intervals, and tendance of graves, monuments, or other symbols commemorating them. Acts of piety toward ancestors reflect the idea that the spirits continue in some measure to be kin and are active participants in the life of the community. Whether ancestral spirits are themselves gods with powers or are intermediaries with higher powers, communion with them is a form of transcendence of ordinary states of existence, which may be a conscious or unconscious goal of the acts of devotion.

Ancestor worship in various forms was practiced amount the ancient civilization of the Mediterranean, where cults of the dead sometimes also existed, and among later European peoples. Ancient EGYPTIAN RELIGION featured a cult of the dead but gave little attention to ancestral spirits except to those of royalty, which were venerated by the people and especially honored in rites observed by their royal descendants. In ancient GREEK RELIGION, ancestor worship overlapped with hero worship. Some ritual attention was given to spirits of household heads and political leaders, and the spirits of men whose deeds were heroic were sometimes elevated to immortality and made the objects of rites of reverence. Ancient celts, Teutons, Vikings, and Slavic groups also conducted rites o propitiation and sacrifice.

Among nonliterate societies, well-developed ancestor cults are limited principally to peoples of sub-Saharan Africa, Melanesia, and some tribal groups of India and adjacent parts of Asia. The greatest development was in AFRICAN RELIGIONS, where ancestral spirits are commonly an important part of the roster of supernatural beings. Among the civilizations of Asia, the classic examples of ancestor worship have been China and Japan. In both societies, however, reverence for, rather than worship of, ancestors in a more nearly accurate description of the beliefs and practices. The spread of modern European culture weakened, displaced, or otherwise put an end to ancestor worship as an overt practice in most nonliterate societies, and technological, social and ideological changes discouraged its continuation in more modern societies. Yet its remnants continue to be periodically significant in a number of Latin American, African, and Asian cultures.

The 19th-century sociologist Herbert Spencer regarded fear and consequent propitiation of the souls of ancestors as the earliest form of religion, an interpretation that later scholars set aside as unverifiable. Modern scholarship has followed the trend of the social sciences in considering ancestor cults in relation to other elements of religious complexes, the social order, and the whole of culture. Through their symbolic representations of kinship and the social hierarchy of kin groups, the beliefs and acts of ancestor worship may be seen as establishing and reinforcing ideas of social roles and identities, thereby contributing to psychological well-being and social harmony. But ideas about ancestors may also be seen sometimes to instill as well as to allay anxiety. In this connection ancestor worship may have an important moral significance by encouraging social conformity.

(Comeback on 10/18/14 and continue to learn about religion. Tomorrow you’ll read and learn more about “Anchises”.

#Today’sReligiousTopicOfTheDay, #poetsareangels.com, @FelinaSilver


Taken from the Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions

Here is a dose of daily religion from A to Z.

Today’s religious topic is as follows:

”Ancaeus”,  in Greek mythology, the son of ZEUS or POSEIDON and king of the Leleges of Samons. In the Argonautic expedition, after the death of Tiphys, the helmsman of the Argo, Ancaeus took his place. While planting a vineyard, Ancaeus was told by a seer that he would never drink of its wine. When the grapes were ripe, he squeezed the juice into a cup and, raising it to his lips, mocked the seer, who retorted with the words “There is many a slip between cup and the lip.” At that moment it was announced that a wild boar was ravaging the land. Ancaeus set down the cup, leaving the wine untasted, hurried out, and was killed by the boar.

(Comeback on 10/17/14 and continue to learn about religion. Tomorrow you’ll read and learn more about “Ancestor Worship”.

#Today’sReligiousTopicOfTheDay, #poetsareangels.com, @FelinaSilver


Please don’t take my manners or holidays away by Felina Silver Robinson

Today I read an article and shared it on my blog “Marshfield Residents Want Christmas Vacation Back.”  It made me remember the first time I heard it our schools in Brookline Massachusetts as “Winter Vacation”. It made me further remember various schools not wanting Halloween celebrated at their locations.  Newton Schools have continued to ban Halloween activities. Here is a small collection of some earlier articles speaking to these bans.

1. Newton (MA) Elementary School Bans Halloween (Newton, MA – 10/27/2005)

2. Banned at the schoolhouse door: pint-size ghosts and goblins (Raleigh NC – 10/31/2005)

3. Massachusetts Principal Takes Aim at Fall Holidays, Says They’re Insensitive (Somerville, MA – 10/15/2011)

4. Valentine’s Day Candy Banned By Horace Mann School In Massachusetts (VIDEO) (Newton, MA – 02/12/2012)

My daughter recently came home and told me that her and a group of her friends got in trouble for hugging each other during school. Hugging is no longer in Brookline Public schools. I remember reading an article back in August about a Student punished for saying “bless you”.

While I certainly agree that some holidays can be offensive, like Columbus Day and Thanksgiving.  I believe that there is a difference when a holiday directly affects the emotional well-being of an individual such is the case with Native Americans and their feelings as they relate to Christopher Columbus, Columbus Day and Thanksgiving. However, taking an opportunity away that one has had since birth whether it be a 100 years or 10 years is just preposterous.

Taking away Halloween and any celebrations around Halloween is just so sad. Just because someone chooses to celebrate Halloween, it does not make them a witch or a devil worshiper. Personally, I attended church and Sunday school my entire childhood, well into adulthood. I have never given up on my Christian beliefs and no Holiday will change that. Some of my fondest memories are attached to Halloween.

Taking away holidays and renaming holidays is one thing. To add salt to existing wounds, people have moved on disallowing touch and disallowing the use of the term “bless you” when someone sneezes. Personally, I try really hard to just say “bless you” instead of “God bless you”, but there are those that are still upset with that, to the point of suspending a student for it as noted in the article mentioned in paragraph two. Being raised to say “God bless you” since childhood upon the sound of a sneeze, it feels quite rude when it is not said. I will always find myself compelled to say it and I don’t intend to apologize for that.

My closing thoughts: I have never thought for one second that I had the right or felt the need to take part in removing any holiday celebrations aside from Thanksgiving and/or Columbus Day as it directly affects who I am. I would never expect anyone to give up their own beliefs for mine. None of us have the right to dictate what others believe in. We all try to find a place where we fit in. Sometimes this doesn’t come easy. We all want to feel comfortable. The best way to do this is to allow others to be themselves as long as they are not hurting anyone. Changing life long tradition should not be the goal just because a small group of people prefer to think badly or be frightened by kindness.  While we all realize that change is necessary and will come no matter what we say or do,If things change too much we lose too much of where we come from, then we lose a sense of ourselves as well as a sense of belonging.


Taken from the Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions

Here is a dose of daily religion from A to Z.

Today’s religious topic is as follows:

”Anatolian Religions: Religions of Successor States”,  When Hattusa fell, about 1180 BCE, the Luwians moved eastward and southward into Cappadocia, Cilicia, and North Syria. Here they formed a number of small successor kingdoms Shortly afterward the Phrygians crossed the Bosporus from Thrace and occupied the center of the Anatolian plateau, cutting off in the extreme southwest a remnant of the Luwian people, who became known as the Lycians and maintained their reverence for the Luwian gods Tarhun, Runda, Arma, and Santa into classical times.

The East Luwians, whose rulers used the Hittite hieroglyphic script to record their deeds, worshiped these same deities; but their chief goddess was KUBABA, who only appears in the archives of Hattusa except as the local goddess of Carchemish in Syria. Her prominence was due to political factors, for Carchemish was then the leading Hittite city.

In the east, the Hurrians formed a new kingdom, Urartu, which rose to power from about 900 to 600 BCE. Their national god was HALDI, and he is associated with a weather god, Tesheba, a sun goddess, Shiwini, and a goddess, Bagbartu (or Bagmashtu). Haldi is represented standing on a lion, Tesheba on a bull, Shiwini holing a winged sun disk above her head. The cult was practiced not only in temples but also in front of rock-hewn niches in the form of gates through which the deity was probably believed to manifest himself.

The Phrygian Mother goddess was Cybele, or Cybebe, a goddess of the mountains, out of which she was believed  to manifest herself to her devotees. In Anatolia, Cybele’s cult is marked by carved rock facades with niches or by rock-hewn thrones, on which the statue would be set; in front of these, the rites were celebrated in the open air. The high priest of Cybele was given the name of ATTIS, and—at least in later times—she was attended by a band of devotees called GAllI, whose orgiastic dancing , at the climax of which they castrated themselves, was notorious.

The cult myth of these rites told how Cybele (known at Pessinus as AGDISTIS, from Mount Agdos [or Mount Agdistis] in the vicinity} loved a beautiful youth named Attis. According to the earliest version, Attis was killed by a boar. All later versions, however, refer to wild revelry and castration, while in one version Attis is afterwards turned into a pine tree. The “Phrygian rites” introduced into Rome under the Emperor Claudius (reigned 41-54 CE) included the ceremonious felling of a pine tree to represent the dead youth and its transport in procession to the temple. Still later, the sacrifice of a bull or a ram and the belief in the resurrection of Attis were added to the cult.

Among other deities, the goddess Ma of COMANA, despite her name (Mother), was distinct from Cybele and was identified with the war goddess BELLONA. The god Me, who appears on numerous monuments of the Hellenistic period, was an equestrian moon god, later identified with Attis.

(Comeback on 10/15/14 and continue to learn about religion. Tomorrow you’ll read and continue to learn more about “Ancaeus”.

#Today’sReligiousTopicOfTheDay, #poetsareangels.com, @FelinaSilver