Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Golem

The golem is an animated human-like creature of Jewish folklore, made from mud, clay, or other similar materials. Typically there is an inscription in the forehead, or written on paper and folded into the arms or mouth, with the Name of God or the Hebrew word for "truth," emet.

The golem is actually very easy to make! But to make a working golem is far more difficult. First, it requires one to be holy, literally and figuratively. One has to understand all the major aspects of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), such as the sephirot the Hebrew alphabet.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Folklore Entry #1

This is the beginning of a dispensary for my folklore knowledge. It "consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales, stories, tall tales, and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called folkloristics ... In usage, there is a continuum between folklore and mythology."

There are four major areas to folklore study: artifacts (e.g. voodoo dolls, crucifixes, Masonic "death" chambers); describable and transmittable entity (i.e. oral tradition, stories, etc.); culture (i.e. the group to which the folklore belongs and the context it exists in); and finally, behavior (i.e. rituals, practices, modes of folklore).

I will also be discussing my own... experiences with certain folklore. These will include ghost stories, out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, creatures I have seen, and haunted places I have visited. However, I'll try to stick to the greater topics and only intersperse my own stories rarely.

Additionally, while there is a jargon and academic vein in folklore, I will avoid it when possible in order to keep these entries comprehensible to the average person. This is not intended for experts but for the worst kind of skeptics who, like myself, do not believe but want to.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Rambling Man

Been a while since my last post. In the interim I've been to Wyoming, Washington, Colorado, SLO, OC, and more besides. A lot has happened, primarily because of a combination of personal problems, work-related hustling, and a hefty slice of randomness. But let me spare you the (admittedly vague) details.

I've been going back and forth on what to write about these days. I write so much at work it's hard to get up the muster to write on my personal time too. Feel drained, y'know? But I've stumbled upon a few topics to keep me interested -- and hopefully you -- such as, folklore (e.g. stories about vampires, werewolves, magic, voodoo, and other supernatural stuff but definitely not cheesy); conspiracy theories (i.e. debunking them); and nerd stuff (e.g. Diablo 3, MTG, and so on).

Hopefully I can get started beginning next week. But I won't hold my breath. Don't hold yours either.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Stories from my life: Chapter 2

When I was 4 years old I nearly died twice.

The first happened when I was running across the street (without looking both ways) from a friend's house and was hit by a speeding car. The driver did not stop. I landed on the curb and busted my gut. I remember my mother running out from the house to me, lifting me up to make sure I was alive. Once that small fact was confirmed she then slapped me hard across the face and just cried. The next day I got a hernia operation.

The second happened when I was learning how to swim and was chucked into the deep end on the last day of the last swim class. I sank, quickly, and blacked out. I awoke to a man's lips pulling away from mine and a half circle of my classmates pointing and laughing at me. I was naked; my swim trunks had fallen off in the near-death struggle.

These things should affect me more, but they don't. Am I resistant? Or am I empty? Am I even truly human in the sense that I feel what others feel? Maybe it's just that I can't believe how lucky I am while also being so incredibly unlucky. It gives me pause. Makes me hesitant, cautious... scared. Tired.

But I have gotten very good at trudging.