a little project

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a little project

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Fri Sep 10, 2004 8:17 pm

Salvete sodales

I had this idea of bringing more other religions to this forum. I thought maybe this would help to bring it to out forum by creating a little project where the participants would gather so much information on their chosen topic. I haven't got a name for the project but it would be about gathering as much information as you can on gods or religions other than Greek, Roman and Egyptian. So the idea was the members who want to participate can chose a religion and within that religion, they can cover a certain topic, like sacrifices, prayers or the gods of these cultures.
So what do you guys think?
valete

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Postby Aulus Dionysius Mencius on Sat Sep 11, 2004 9:35 am

Salve, mi Orce

Count me in. I will cover chinese religion. Which form or aspect, that I haven't decided yet. Probably Taoist pantheon, maybe the controversy of confucianism being a religion or not,... I'll see.

But you will have to wait another week, for I am still retaking exams.

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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:50 am

Salve Mence

there is no rush. So far there are you and me who are willing to participate.
So take your time, study hard on your exams and I hope you pass.
Any takers?
vale

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Postby Aulus Dionysius Mencius on Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:39 am

Thanx, Orce!

I will certainly make the best of it. But those professors are giving us a hard time. Last Wednesday, I took my translation exam on Classical Chinese; It was so much that one of my collegues passed out. Not very healthy, those little tests...

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Postby Aulus Dionysius Mencius on Sat Sep 18, 2004 8:11 pm

As promised, I will give some information about the most important deities in Taoist pantheon. Here goes...

*Huang Di (Yellow Emperor).
The Yellow Emperor was seen as an ancestor of the Chinese people and a Master of esoteric wisdom. He developed writing, sericulture, the calendar, music, mathamatics, the arts of healing and secual techniques.

*Guan Yin.
Guan Yin (the Healer of the Cries of the World) is undoubtedly the most popular of all Chinese Deities, and one of my guardian deities. China was once littered with Temples dedicated to Guan Yin, and she was worshipped by both Buddhists and Taoists, by men and women, by rich and poor people. Guan Yin has been depicted at times as a man and at times as a woman, but the female image has proven more popular in modern times. She is commonly depicted as a young, pretty woman, with red lips, often wearing a lace or brocade robe, carrying a willow branch (right hand) and a vase (left hand). She is regarded as a savior from all types of misfortune, one who would uphold justice and provide fortune on the needy. She is also regarded as a bestower of children for infertile or childless women.

*Guan Gong.
Guan Gong, or Guan Yu, was the object of the second most prevalent Taoist cult in traditional China (behind the cult dedicated to Guan Yin). He was a highly decorated military general during China's Warring States Period (220 AD - 280 AD), and was regarded as a strong and able military officer who possessed an outstanding degree of loyalty. Despite his military abilities, and due to his unwavering loyalty, Guan Gong was killed in battle. He was almost immediately revered as an Immortal, and throughout many succeeding centuries people continued to believe in Guan Gong's Heavenly promotions. Guan Gong is typically depicted as a large man with a long black beard. He is either standing or seated at a desk. His countenance is always stern, and his face is red. Standing behind Guan Gong are always his assistants, General Zhou Cang and the white-faced General Guan Ping (Guan Gong's son). Guan Gong always holds his long-handled, double-edged broadsword. Guan Gong is venerated by those concerned with loyalty, military affairs, commerce, giving birth to sons, exorcising spirits, etc.

More on Lorg Guan can be found in the 'History of the Three Kingdoms', the most popular novel ever written in Chinese history. And I have a copy, surprise surprise :wink:

*The Three Pure Ones.
The 3 Pure Ones are the highest Deities in all of Taoism. While the Jade Emperor rules the Heavenly hierarchy, the 3 Pure Ones are so lofty they transcend the entire hierarchy. In the middle is the absolute highest image of religious Taoism, the Primordial Heavenly Worthy. To His right (as you face Them) is the Numinous Treasure Heavenly Worthy, and to His left is the Supreme Way Heavenly Worthy. Some people believe in the 3 Pure Ones as Gods representing and controlling the various stages of energy in the cosmos, while some people prefer to focus on the 3 Pure Ones as purely representative of the three energies (jing, qi, and shen) cultivated by Taoist meditations.

*Jade Emperor.
The Jade Emperor is the highest ruler in the Taoist Heavens. He does rank beneath the 3 Pure Ones, but they act more as elemental forces and less like ruling Deities. Usually depicted sitting on a throne with an impassive countenance partially obscured by strings of pearls hanging from the front brim of his hat, the Jade Emperor often holds a pointed slab of jade in his hands as a symbol of his authority. The Jade Emperor's birthday is typically celebrated on the ninth day of the first lunar month, which corresponds roughly to the first day of spring.

*Land God.
In traditional China, every village had a shrine to the local Earth God. It was this God who was in charge of administering the affairs of a particular village. In traditional times, village concerns were primarily agricultural or weather-related. This God was not all-powerful, but was a modest Heavenly bureaucrat to whom individual villagers could turn in times of need, famine, drought, etc. This God is often called "Grandpa," which reflects his close relationship to the common people. He typically wears a black hat and a red robe, which signify his position as a bureaucrat. His birthday is commonly celebrated on the 2nd day of the 2nd lunar month.

*Lao Tzu (or Laozi).
Lao Tzu is perhaps the most famous of all Taoist Deities. According to Taoist legend, he was an older contemporary of Confucius who was born as an old man. He came from a minor aristocratic family, and gradually developed a system of Taoist mysticism and philosophy. As Laozi finally rejected society and rode off to the "uncivilized" west, he was stopped and persuaded to write down his thoughts. Those thoughts are comprised in the Dao De Jing. Lao Tzu's success in personal cultivation enabled him to become one of Taoism's most powerful Deities. I have read many of his texts, both in class and in my room, and they are indeed inspiring.


*Liezi. A philosopher that wrote the Taoist classic, Liezi.

*Lu Dong Bin. Lu Dong Bin is the most famous of the 8 Immortals, a group of extremely popular and powerful Taoist Gods. He is regarded as one of the five founding fathers of Quan Zhen Sect Taoism (Complete Reality Taoism, the largest active sect in China). The most common historical tale claims that Lu Dong Bin was a mortal in the Tang Dynasty from China's Shanxi Province. He was a failed candidate for government service, and was unaccomplished until he was 64. At that time he met the Taoist Immortal Han Zhong Li, who explained Taoism to him. From that time he dedicated himself to Taoist cultivation and eventually became an Immortal. Despite his relatively high status in the Taoist hierarchy, Lu Dong Bin remains an accessible figure. He is credited with frequent travels among the people to provide healing, exorcise demons, resolve disputes, and promote Taoist cultivation. Lu Dong Bin wears a unique hat, which is flat and slopes downward past his forehead. He usually carries a double-edged sword, and sometimes a shield. His birthday is generally celebrated on the 14th day of the 4th lunar month.

*The 3 Mao Brothers.
Mao Ying, Mao Gu, and Mao Zhong were brothers born at Jun Qu Mountain in Jiangsu Province 150-141 BCE. When Mao Ying was 18, he ran away to Heng Mountain in Shanxi Province in order to practice Taoist culitvation. After 31 years he returned to Jun Qu Mountain with miraculous healing powers. Mao Ying's brothers, who were government officials at the time, saw Mao Ying's level of cultivation and decided to dedicate themselves to Taoism. The three became very famous as mystics and healers, and are each believed to have ascended to Immortality. After their physical deaths Jun Qu Mountain was renamed Mao Mountain in their honor.

These are the most important ones. Perhaps I will add some more later, or start in another direction...

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Last edited by Aulus Dionysius Mencius on Sat Sep 18, 2004 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sat Sep 18, 2004 8:16 pm

Salvete Menci et sodales

That's wonderfull that you already have done this. But I was hoping that there would be more volunteers. Greek, Roman and Egyptian deities and religious practices are also allowed (my mistake) if it is an interest or if you practice it. It couldn't hurt to have another perspective on the matters that are to be discussed or was discussed earlier.
valete

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Postby Aulus Dionysius Mencius on Sat Sep 18, 2004 8:30 pm

Salvete iterum, mi Orce

An idea that might lead to more participants. What if we focussed on one particular object or God that is worshipped in many cultures? If we could compare some views, that would also be a good thing for this project, nonne?

As an example, I give a very obvious one: the Sun. I am thinking of Mongolian shamanism, the Ra cult which was instated by pharaoh Echnaton, the Sol Invictus which Draco told us about in the past,...

Let us see what we can come up with, shall we?

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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sat Sep 18, 2004 8:36 pm

Salve Menci

A good idea. Not bad. I think it is do able. Well we could create a list of what we could discuss. Lets begin with the obvious ones: the sun.
- the sun god/ goddess
- the moon god/ goddess
- the earth goddess. Earth is usually represented by a female deity.
Than we could move over to other aspects like death, underworld, wisdom, evil, good (dualism), etc..; I think you guys get the picture.
vale

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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:37 pm

Salve Coruncane

Maybe we should first stay with where we were before doing what you suggested. So far, we should first compare the worship of the solar deities in various cultures. Everyone picks one and we see how it goes from there.
vale

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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sat Dec 18, 2004 12:40 pm

Salvete

Did anyone did some work for this or what? I know people were busy the last couple of months. Maybe it is time to put this one out of the frezer and put to use. So I would like to ask again who wants to participate here? I thaught we could start the project with writing about the solar deities of the Mediterrenean world. I will work on the worship of Helios.
Any takers?
valete

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