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Lycanthropy

Wolf skeleton

Wolf skeleton via Wikipedia

In folk religion, world myth and urban legend, Lycanthropy is the ability of a human being to change into an animal. Lycanthropy can result from a curse. But when the transformation is undertaken willingly, the animal is usually the most powerful creature in its environment.

In Europe and Northern Asia, the so-called Shamanicpower animal‘ usually takes the form of a wolf or bear. In India, the tiger features prominently. Africa‘s most popular power animal is the leopard.

Lycanthropy also refers to a kind of psychological frenzy where one believes or fantasizes about being a wolf or a werewolf.

Psychologically speaking, “the wolf” this could represent anyone who at first appears normal, even admirable. But over time he or she makes little slips (i.e. parapraxes) that reveal some deeply entrenched character flaw or unresolved complex.


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Martin Luther

The 95 Theses, circa 1517. Written in protest ...

The 95 Theses, circa 1517. Written in protest by Martin Luther against Church abuse via Wikipedia

Martin Luther (1483-1546) was the son of a copper miner, born at Eisleben, and the founder of the German Protestant Reformation.

After a traditional education, Luther entered an Augustinian monastery in 1505. He was ordained as a priest in 1507 and in 1512 earned the title of Doctor of Theology and Professor of Scripture at Wittenberg.

Luther became widely known as a reformer after visiting Rome in 1510-11, where he was appalled by the Catholic Church’s sale of indulgences. In 1517 he denied the Pope‘s authority to forgive sins by posting his 95 theses on the Church door at Wittenberg.

Apparently intended as a mere theological argument, intense controversy followed this pivotal act.

Luther was called to Rome to defend his theses. He ignored the summons and continued to challenge the papacy even more forcefully, publicly setting to flames the papal bull that condemned his activities.

A Church order was given to destroy his written works. Luther was called before the Diet at Worms and expelled from the Empire. His Augsburg Confession, where the character Melanchthon represents his own views, is a benchmark for the German Reformation (1530).

Luther married a nun and had six children, one of whom died young. In his later years he showed definite signs of antisemitism, which has lead to his controversial status.¹

¹ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_and_antisemitism

Related Posts » Bach (Johann Sebastian), Calvin (John), Calvinism, Confirmation, Consubstantiation, Erasmus Desiderius, Evil, Holy, Justification, More (St. Thomas), Nietzsche (Friedrich), Numinous, Otto (Rudolf)


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Luna

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The Greek Diana was regarded as a huntress and also took on attributes of a Moon Goddess via Wikipedia

Luna is the Latin word for ‘moon’ and the oldest Roman moon goddess. The moon later becomes identified with Diana and Hecate.

Luna’s 6th-century BCE temple on the Aventine Hill was was destroyed by the great fire, for which Nero blamed and persecuted local Christians.

Luna/Selene by antmoose via Flickr and Wikipedia

Her Greek parallel is Selene.

Related Posts » Artemis, Cancer, Particle-Wave Duality


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St. Luke

Saint Luke the Evangelist

Saint Luke the Evangelist via Wikipedia

St. Luke was an early Christian convert, a Gentile, and is referred to as “the beloved physician.”

Church tradition says that Luke was born in Antioch in Syria and became a martyr for Christ. In the 2nd century the authorship of the third Gospel was ascribed to Luke. And the Acts of the Apostles are often attributed to Luke.

Along with Matthew 10:1-4 and Mark 3:13-19, Luke 6:12-16 lists the 12 apostles. Needles to say, Luke, himself, was not an apostle.

His feast day is celebrated on 18 October and his sign is a winged ox.

Related Posts » Gospel of Luke, Gospels, Q Document, Synoptic Gospels, The Our Father


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Luke Skywalker

Three of the most important figures of the Reb...

Screenshot of the characters of the film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) on the first Death Star: (from left to right) Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) via Wikipedia (click on image for Fair Use rationale)

Luke Skywalker is the hero of George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy, played by actor Mark Hamill.

Luke displays many of the qualities of the mythic hero, as outlined by Carl Jung and, later, Joseph Campbell. He’s born of humble origins and grows up with a missing father. He’s invited to embark on a dangerous quest or mission, on which he receives paranormal help from a spiritual teacher (i.e. Yoda) and a wise old man (i.e. Obi Wan Kenobi).

Also, he has a female helper (i. e. Princess Leia) with whom he perhaps falls in puppy love until realizing she’s his sister.

Moreover, he undergoes a spiritual transformation, enabling him to succeed in overcoming evil (i.e. the dark side of “the force”) within and without. And he becomes a select knight of goodness possessing supernatural powers (i.e. Jedi).

Related Posts » Abyss, Archetypal Image, Darth Vader, Han Solo


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Lovelock, James

Painting by artist Christine Lovelock (daughte...

Painting by artist Christine Lovelock (daughter of the Gaia Theorist James Lovelock) "View of Craigenputtock in 2006" via Wikipedia

James Lovelock (1919-) is a British scientist, author and environmentalist best known for his proposal of the Gaia hypothesis, where the Earth, itself, is seen as a self-regulating entity geared toward sustaining life.

In his own words, Gaia is

a complex entity involving the Earth’s biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and soil; the totality constituting a feedback or cybernetic system which seeks an optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this planet.¹

This view is alternately accepted and rejected by different scientists. And it’s often mistaken for Lewis Thomas‘ speculation that the Earth, if viewed from space, looks like a single cell.

¹ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis

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Lot

Lot's Wife near  the Dead Sea DSCF8241

Lot's Wife near the Dead Sea by GflaiG via Flickr

In the Old Testament Lot is Abraham‘s nephew. He departed from his family to the proximity of Sodom, a place of iniquity where he was rescued by two angels. But he’s really more famous for what happened to his wife.

Lot’s Wife is also a character in the Old Testament. Her tale has become emblematic as a kind of dire warning about the danger in not trusting God.

When delivered from Sodom, Lot and his wife are warned by the Lord to not look back because the city is being utterly destroyed. The destruction arises because “the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly” (Genesis 13:13).

Lot’s wife disobeys. As she turns to look back, she’s transformed into a pillar of salt. Lot, however, doesn’t look back and survives the ordeal unscathed.

Feminists point out that Lot’s wife is unnamed in the Bible.

Historians, tour guides and geologists each have their own take on what really happened. Two prevailing naturalistic theories are:

  1. Lot’s wife is a natural rock salt formation that occurs in the Dead Sea area, which can still be viewed today.
  2. Salt floes in the dead sea were thrust upward by surging waters, “hence legend is created out of what can now be explained as a simple geological phenomenon.”¹

From a practical perspective we might say that the story of Lot’s wife instructs us to “not look back” when life and, perhaps, our very physical, economic, psychological or spiritual survival demands that we move forward and not get stuck in the past.

¹ “The geologists said that Lot’s wife did not appear to turn into a pillar of salt because she dared to look back but because of the briny nature of the Dead Sea. But the research shows it was more likely a case of mistaken identity. Mr. Harris said by telephone from Canada that the Dead Sea was full of salt floes that might have been thrown up by surging water to resemble a female outline. ‘Hence legend is created out of what can now be explained as a simple geological phenomenon.'” Source: “Geologists Zero In on Sodom and Lot’s Wife” in New York Times » http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B03E0D71739F934A25751C1A963958260

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