Pagan Miracles & Apparitions

MrRING

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Messages
4,935
Likes
989
Points
144
#1
Just started reading The Miracle Detective by Randall Sullivan, about the people who investigate miracles or apparitions of the Virgin Mary and the like.

And this got me thinking: is all anybody ever sees Christian symbols? Has nobody ever seen an apparition of Zeus, or Demeter, or things comparable in a painting?
 

OneWingedBird

Beloved of Ra
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Messages
15,007
Likes
5,172
Points
284
#2
An interesting idea, I suppose people are more inclined to see Christian imagery because they know what the face or Jesus or the BVM looks like, whereas this wouldn't hold for other deities.

I guess there's also the angle that if they did see a pagan apparition, would it be publicised? I mean, if you rang your local paper to say that you and some friends had seen a BVM they might be interested, if it was Demeter or Isis you'd seen, they'd just be like "What the f*ck".
 

The late Pete Younger

Venerable and Missed
Joined
Jul 31, 2001
Messages
5,942
Likes
97
Points
129
#3
BlackRiverFalls said:
An interesting idea, I suppose people are more inclined to see Christian imagery because they know what the face or Jesus or the BVM looks like
There are so many different variations of what they look like, you'd need an an identikit to pick the right one.:)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#4
Then there's the problem that christian imagery has plundered pagan tradition - how many sightings of Isis may have been mistaken for the BVM? ;)
 

TulipTree

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Sep 23, 2003
Messages
437
Likes
8
Points
49
#5
Yes, Chanubi, I was just thinking the same thing. How many BVM apparitions have clearly identified themselves as Mary mother of Jesus? I read a book about them and if I recall correctly, was interested that the BVM so rarely said "I am the BVM".

There's also the Milk Miracle. The Milk Miracle involved statues of Lord Ganesha drinking the milk that was offered to them.

http://www.milkmiracle.com/
 

Jerry_B

Antediluvian
Joined
Apr 15, 2002
Messages
8,061
Likes
32
Points
129
#6
Well, just as the trend today is for Christianity-based miracles, apparitions, etc. the same seems to be the case before it came along. IIRC, there were similar things going on in the Roman Empire. I also recall that at least one Roman writer/commentator took great amusement at making fun of such claims. I think there is also one satirical play where a religious 'miracle' is lampooned. Can't recall specifics off of the top of my head tho'. But in essence, such things were said to have gone on in much the same way as today, but just coming from a different religion.
 

OneWingedBird

Beloved of Ra
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Messages
15,007
Likes
5,172
Points
284
#7
At a minor tangent, there's the Moslem miracle that pops up every so often where the name of Allah appears inside a cut fruit or similar. That seems to be quite a uniquely Moslem thing.
 

Bannik

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 12, 2003
Messages
1,009
Likes
12
Points
69
#8
Tulip Tree said:
There's also the Milk Miracle. The Milk Miracle involved statues of Lord Ganesha drinking the milk that was offered to them.

http://www.milkmiracle.com/
It's kind of ironic that when the gods actually take the offerings given to them that everyone makes such a bid deal about it. Isn't that what they are supposed to do, or am I being to literal?
 

TulipTree

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Sep 23, 2003
Messages
437
Likes
8
Points
49
#9
Bannik said:
It's kind of ironic that when the gods actually take the offerings given to them that everyone makes such a bid deal about it. Isn't that what they are supposed to do, or am I being to literal?
Perhaps once when the gods had form and walked among us. They wore the garments we made and the meals we cooked for them. At that time, though they were just men, if heroes.

If the particular god you worship was never flesh but an idea or symbol of nature, then no way are they supposed to be actually ingesting it. An offering is a symbol... perhaps the first tax :D, where we "waste" something precious to us to symbolize our dependence on forces beyond our control.
 

Hot_Cross_Nun

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Nov 28, 2003
Messages
161
Likes
7
Points
34
#10
Mr R.I.N.G wrote:

Pagan Miracles and Apparitions

Just started reading The Miracle Detective by Randall Sullivan, about the people who investigate miracles or apparitions of the Virgin Mary and the like.

And this got me thinking: is all anybody ever sees Christian symbols? Has nobody ever seen an apparition of Zeus, or Demeter, or things comparable in a painting?
How about Pan? People still seem to experience his presence - see this thread: http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=10709&highlight=panic+woods
 

MrRING

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Messages
4,935
Likes
989
Points
144
#11
I'm glad to hear that the Angry Sky God isn't the only who who has a presence in this world. Of coruse, in a non-demoninational way, what could be the purpose of these entities trying to speak to us?

One of the things that struck me so far is an interview that Randall Sullivan, where he describes a miracle that effected him: a rain storm with lightning. Now, suppose that was just representitive of the powers of good, but not specifically Christian, and he just read it that way because of what he was researching. I haven't gotten to that part of the book yet though....
 

Bannik

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 12, 2003
Messages
1,009
Likes
12
Points
69
#12

James_H

And I like to roam the land
Joined
May 18, 2002
Messages
5,240
Likes
1,559
Points
234
#13
I remember reading a fascinating account of someone meeting the great god pan in university parks oxford, in the 60s. Pan explained that his appearances were scarce these days because no one believes in him.
 

MrRING

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Messages
4,935
Likes
989
Points
144
#14
James H - remember anymore of the story?

Also, I've heard the following story retold in many lights - any idea of it's veracity, or is it a literary creation only? (In fact, I think it's included in my WHD Rouse translation of general Greek myths as bring a close to the pagan era)

http://www.whitedragon.org.uk/articles/pan.htm

News of Pan's death came to a man named Thamus, a pilot of a ship bound for Italy by way of Paxi. As Thamus was sailing along in the Aegean on a quiet evening, he heard a loud voice announcing that "Great Pan is dead". This announced the end of Paganism; Pan with his pipes, the god of the natural, had yielded to the God of the supernatural. The story is told by a character in Plutarch's dialogue "On why oracles came to fail". When the boat Thamus was piloting came opposite Palodes, and there was neither wind nor wave, from the stern, looking toward the land, he said the words as he heard them: "Great Pan is dead". Even before he had finished there was a great cry of lamentation, not of one person but of many, mingled with exclamations of amazement. As many persons were on the vessel, the story was soon spread abroad in Rome, and Thamus was sent for by Tiberius Caesar. Tiberius became so convinced of the truth of the story that he caused an inquiry and investigation to be made about Pan, and the scholars, who were numerous at this court, conjectured that he was the son born of Hermes and Penelope, based on the mystical conclusion that the numerological value of the name Pan equates to 131, the number of lovers reputedly entertained by Penelope.
 
Top