Monday, November 25, 2013

Human Sacrifices in Ancient Gaul

Human Sacrifices in Ancient Gaul

     In strange discord, however, with the lofty words of Cæsar stands the abominable practice of human sacrifice whose prevalence he noted among the Celts. Prisoners and criminals, or if these failed even innocent victims, probably children, were encased, numbers at a time, in huge frames of wickerwork, and there burned alive to win the favour of the gods. The practice of human sacrifice is, of course, not specially Druidic—it is found in all parts both of the Old and of the New World at a certain stage of culture, and was doubtless a survival from the time of the Megalithic People. The fact that it should have continued in Celtic lands after an otherwise fairly high state of civilisation and religious culture had been attained can be paralleled from Mexico and Carthage, and in both cases is due, no doubt, to the uncontrolled dominance of a priestly caste.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Iroquois Indians and Fairies

Iroquois Fairy Stones

Iroquois Fairy Stone Located in Wabash County, Indiana.  Several of these carved bowls can be found in Northern Indiana

The Iroquois had a belief that they could summon dwarfs, who were similar nature-spirits, by knocking on a certain [Pg 238]large stone. Likewise the Polong, a Malay familiar spirit, is ‘an exceedingly diminutive female figure or mannikin.  East Indian nature-spirits, too, are pygmies in stature. In Polynesia, entirely independent of the common legends about wild races of pygmy stature, are myths about the spirits called wui or vui, who correspond to European dwarfs and trolls. These little spirits seem to occupy the same position toward the Melanesian gods or culture heroes, Qat of the Banks Islands and Tagaro of the New Hebrides, as daemons toward Greek gods, or as good angels toward the Christian Trinity, or as fairy tribes toward the Brythonic Arthur and toward the Gaelic hero Cuchulainn. Similarly in Hindu mythology pygmies hold an important place, being sculptured on most temples in company with the gods; e. g. Siva is accompanied by a bodyguard of dwarfs, and one of them, the three-legged Bhringi, is a good dancerlike all corrigans, pixies, and most fairies.

Stone bowl used by Iroquois Indians to summons Fairies from the Underworld