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The "International Year Of Polytheism” (powered by monochrom) wants to overcome the epoch of the monotheistic worldviews (and its derivatives such as "The West" and "The Arab World") through the reconstruction of a polytheistic multiplicity in which countless gods and goddesses will eventually neutralize each other. Polytheism is democracy, Monotheism a dictatorship, even in its pseudo-secular form.
Freed from the servitude of monotheism and the fraternal strife of the trinity, the world would be redeemed in a chaotic baptism of multiplicity. Besides, we believe that polytheism is the most suitable form of religion for a modern, dynamic and cosmopolitan young culture. Improve your C.V. with polytheism. Create your own heavens and hells. Or try it out yourself with our special Gods/Goddesses trial subscription. Our qualified operators are standing by to take your calls!
   

Fifth event:
Door Henge: Doors Of Polytheistic Perception:
Anonymous friends of the movement in San Francisco are erecting a polytheism monument on August 19, 2007 in an undisclosed public location. There is clearly a need for secrecy as a result of religious oppression from the monotheistic mainstream.
San Francisco, California.

Fourth event:
The Divining Pod
A balloon is a type of aircraft that remains aloft due to its buoyancy. A balloon travels by moving with the wind. The balloon is ONE BIG fabric envelope filled with a gas that is lighter than the surrounding atmosphere. A SINGLE balloon that is less dense than its surroundings, it rises, taking along with it a basket, attached underneath, that carries passengers or payload.
Cluster ballooning is an uncommon form of ballooning in which a balloonist is attached by a harness to a cluster of MANY SMALL rubber balloons.
Cluster ballooning is a perfect metaphor for the plurality and democracy of polytheism. Fight the concept of monotheistic single-balloon ballooning!
At Maker Faire San Francisco 2007 we want to present the world with the "Divining Pod".
Join our effort to fill ballons with helium, tag the balloons with names of air goddesses and air gods, and lift a human being into the skies of diversity! We want to see the heavens open!
San Francisco, California. Maker Faire @ San Mateo Fairgrounds. May 20, 2007.

Third event:
Eating A Persimmon For Zeus
A Persimmon is variety of species of trees of the genus Diospyros, and the edible fruit borne by them. The most widely cultivated species is Diospyros kaki. The fruit is very sweet to the taste with a soft to occasionally fibrous texture. Cultivation of the fruit started in parts of East Asia, and was later introduced to California.
Diospyros kaki translates as "The Fruit of Zeus".
Zeus, is (or was) the king of the gods, the ruler of Mount Olympus, and god of the sky and thunder, in Greek mythology. His symbols are (or were) the thunderbolt, bull, eagle and the oak. When the world was divided in three, Hades received the underworld, Poseidon the sea, and Zeus the sky.
We want to honor Zeus! We want to moan about the dreadful non-divisional monotheistic singularity! Long enough we were dominated by the concept of the God of the Abrahamic religions and/or the Platonic concept of God as put forward by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite! We want to eat persimmons for Zeus! In anger!
Join the force! Eat his fruit! Get a certificate!
Los Angeles, California. Sidewalk @ 4810 Sunset Boulevard. February 23, 2007; 1 PM- 1:30 PM.

Second event:
Premature Burial As A Field Trial For Near Death Activities
The people present will have an opportunity to be buried alive in a coffin for fifteen minutes. Volunteers will be able to experience a semi-traumatic situation and possibly get in close contact with various gods and/or afterlives.
As a framework program there will be lectures about the history of the science of determining death and the medical cultural history of "buried alive". People buried alive not only populate the horror stories of past centuries, but also countless reports in specialized medical literature. The theme of unintentional resurrection by grave robbers also runs through forensic protocols. Even in the 19th century it was said that every tenth person was buried alive.
February 7, 2007. Blackwood Gallery, Mississauga/University Toronto, Canada.

Grand Opening:
Free Barium Nitrate!
The symbolic liberation of Barium Nitrate will signal the opening of this "International Year of Polytheism". We would like to invite you to join with us in igniting 10.000 bound sparklers, free of any judaeo-christian intent. Nothing but a wonderfully powerful fire signal, whose representational vacuity and lack of otherwise traditional symbolic meaning might just wake some of the ignoble gods exiled by monotheistic McKinseyism. We welcome the gods back from their second-class beyond(s).
January 26, 2007. Symposion Lindabrunn, Lindabrunn, Lower Austria.


Further events are planned.

And never forget: One is the number of the beast!

 

 
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Favorite Deity #9: Daikokuten

Franz Ablinger's favorite god is from Asia of course. It is the Japanese god Daikokuten.
He writes:
When I was in Japan last year, I stumbled over a god that can be found in many Shinto-shrines. He was presented as a fat man carrying a big sack. Wow, isn't that Santa? I asked myself and the people around. No, they explained, the name of this deity is Daikokuten and he is one of the shichi fukujin, the seven deities of good fortune. Tap the mallet on the ground in front of him three times and your wish is granted. Well, it worked. So: what's up with Daikokuten?
You can find his picture in many kitchens and as Netsuke, small wooden figures, maybe the ancestors of the small thingies japanese people like to tie on to their mobile phones.

You see a fat, smiling man, wearing a red hat, having thick earlaps - a reference to buddha? - holding a big sack in one hand, a hammer in the other. It is said that when he hits the sack with the hammer, it will be filled with goods. Usually he is sitting on a rice bale. Sometimes a rat, his animal partner, is with him. Sometimes you have to rub the figure, especially if the wish has to do with healing, and sometimes you have to tap it. But in any case you get something from this god. So the idea of Daikokuten being an ancestor of Santa Clause is quite obvious.

I always asked myself where the tradition of Santa Claus comes from. Here in middle Europe we still know the tradition of Saint Niclaus (Nikolaus) and an ongoing dispute in Austria asks wether children should get their presents on December 5, the day of St. Nikolaus, or on Christmas Eve, the eve of Jesus's birth.

In my hometown, St. Nikolaus is always accompanied by a Krampus, a devilish figure wearing a fur and chains. They usually play the good guy/bad guy game to threaten little children and urge them to be good. Nikolaus also has a small book with him where all the good and bad you have done in last year is written down. In my childhood I had much respect for the two until I found out that my uncle was dressed up as the Nikolaus.

St. Nicholas of Myra (lived around the year 300), as we learned in kindergarden, was the ancient name of a bishop who lived around 100km south west of Antalya / Turkey. There are many legends and miracle stories about St. Nicholas. It is said that he was already a saint at birth, and that he took his mothers breast on the days of abstinence (Wednesday and Friday) only once. Other legends include healing miracles.

In switzerland I found most of the original and wonderous traditions about Santa Claus. They know him as "Samichlaus" in many cities (e.g. Küssnacht am Rigi, Kanton Schwyz, Switzerland), still dressed as a bishop. It starts with the tradition of "Chlaus-Chlöpfen" (wakeup Claus) - this is done with huge whips, which are used to make noise to wake up Santa sleeping in his cave. Note that these special whips can make a noise above 100 db. I guess Santa can't sleep through that.

Also interesting: the tradition of "chlausjagen" (hunting claus), where children dress up with masks and go from house to house to get presents. It is still present in the city of Hallwil, Kanton Aaargau, Switzerland, where you can find the original form: There are six different masks, called "Herr" (the master), "Jompfere" (the virgin), "Joggeli" (Jacob, the servant), "W├Ąchter" (the guard), "Möörech" (the black) and "Root" (the red). So you see here are only six of the seven deities of the shichi fukujin left. Which one is missing? And why?
I guess I'll start with mapping the ancient masks of central europe with the deities of India to find out. Stay tuned.
Links:

http://www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus/deta/d/daikokuten.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netsuke
http://www.stnicholassociety.com/
http://www.stnicholascenter.org/
http://www.samichlaus.ch/