Yes, it may also be Erishkigal, but sod it.
So, Hertfordshire University’s Open Graves, Open Minds unit have been running a ‘demon of the day’ campaign on Twitter this week. I’ll confess, as someone who started their interest with the Classical world and Ancient Near East, I’m rather partial to a good demon (I will, one day soon, write the article about Lilith I’ve been threatening.)
I had a rather good conversation with the OGOM project’s Twitter, and the excellent Dr Sam George on the nature of the Solomonic demon Astaroth.
I’m not too proud to admit that one of the reasons I know about Astaroth (and Baal, and Asmodeus) is because I was hoping to lay down the intellectual smack on something that irritates me: the belief that the demons of Christianity were the Gods of previous civilisations.
Which isn’t always true.
Of course… in the case of Astaroth… it sort-of… is.
Which is really fascinating, since becoming a demon isn’t the most interesting thing that happened to him.
His original name was Ashtoreth, and he used to be a goddess. Continue reading
Hello everyone. I’ve been doing my best to update this blog weekly since September, and it’s been an absolute blast. In the past I’ve only ever updated sporadically: when I had a strong idea for something that I couldn’t sell, or where edits changed a piece to the point where I felt there was a whole other article still to be written.
Since writing weekly, it’s been huge (to steal a Trumpism – I don’t like his politics, but we’ve got a disturbing similarity in lexicon…)
I’ve made friends, I’ve increased my social media followers, and I’ve tripled the rate of my study: there’s nothing that stimulates the mind and gets me learning better than the motivating pull of these blog posts raising questions and spurring me on to new areas.
More than that, the conversations these posts have prompted have hugely widened the scope of my knowledge, just in a few months, and given me a three dimensionality to my work that could only come from discussing it with people who knew what they were talking about.
This is why I’m committed to keep posting on my blog, BUT I’ve got a lot of work coming up this year. Continue reading
So, it’s Christmas day, the presents have been opened, and you’re either spending the day with your beloved family or crammed in with that bunch of assholes with whom you have nothing in common but an accident of birth.
Either way, I hope there were presents in the offing, because as much as we like to shake our privileged heads and lament the commercialisation of Christmas, gifting and hospitality have long been a fairly important part of European culture.
In the Middle Ages, and particularly in the myth and folklore of the Middle Ages, both gifting and hospitality were important motifs.
And since writing about those things would suggest that I had things like social contact or friends, I’ve had to ask the awesome Heather O’Brien of Heathen Undergound to step in and write a little about Christmas and Gifting in the Middle Ages.