Monday, January 1, 2007

Welcome to the Year of the Scorpion

That's right folks. It's officially 2007, the Year of the Scorpion. I hear some dissension. "No Sarah, It's the year of the Pig in Chinese culture." Well, fuck you nay-sayers! We've seen signs. Just look around you. The scorpions are there. They're eating your foodz, and steelin ur dataz...They're hiding in your celebratory crackers, merging with your jewelry. We can compromise if we must, and it can be the Year of the Pig-Scorpions, or Scorpion-Pigs. But don't steal the scorpions' thunder. It's their year; don't be afraid to acknowledge it.

So this year, ye olde 2007, do as the scorpions have done before you, and rock out like you've never rocked before.


The first excitement of the year has pounced upon me, like some giant pouncing thing. It has come in the form of knowledge. Creepy, philosophical-theological knowledge, disguised in my fantasy books and my MMO of choice. Now, I am a big fan of mythology. I've studied a lot of western religions solely for the cool stories. Deities are excellent characters, and mythology is a fantasy dork's dream come true. One thing I've neglected, to my disadvantage, is Christianity and its predecessors. This is because of some bad blood between me and Christianity; things were said, and we haven't spoken in years. I have never read the bible; excerpts, yes, but not the whole lengthy tome itself. I have a general idea of the stories etc, apparently a better idea than many people I know, but I haven't made any efforts to study it. So, I don't honestly know the nuances of separation between the Christian sects, or even between Judaism and Christianity (sad, I know). I realize not many people have played FFXI who are going to end up reading this, but, I'm sure you've all played a final fantasy game at some point along the way, and are familiar with their versatility of monsters at their disposal. I've recognized a lot of the names they use; Ifrit, Fenrir, Cerberus, Mandragora, etc etc. All taken from various mythologies worldwide, and ingeniously used. I've always been impressed by the amount of research that went into the mobs at some point. In the recent Final Fantasy games, there's a mob called an Ahriman. It's a giant eye thing with wings. You know what I'm talking about; they confused you in FFX and made you kill yourself with your big sword. Those jerks. Well, in FFXI, there are Ahriman too. Not to bore you with the details, but in the high level Dynamis (-.- raid for you WOW noobs) story lines, the second to last boss is an Ahriman mob called Angra Mainyu. He's an asshole, but I've faced him several times and lived to tell the tale (go me). I never thought to look up his name; I thought it was something made up, or related to a previous game I'd never played. Well, completely unrelated to FFXI, I'm reading a heavily theological fantasy series currently, and encountered a God named Angra Mainyu while reading. Coincidence? I think not. So, I wikipediad it. Well, like I said, anything related to the creation of Christianity I tend to ignore. So, I've unwittingly tuned out Zoroasterian thought. Turns out Ahriman and Angra Mainyu are from Zoroaster himself and his mighty, and completely unexplored by me, writings. So get this: Angra Mainyu is the nemesis of the light and creation god Ahura Mazda in Zoroasterian thought. Ahriman is another name for Angra Mainyu. I'm thoroughly intrigued and wish to learn more. If anyone has any suggestions as to a good and unbiased source on Zoroaster, I'd be much obliged. It sounds way interesting. Ahura Mazda is the god of the sacred fire, the creator of empirical truth, and defender of that which is observable. Angra Mainyu is his adversary, the polluter, the lord of anti-creation, and characterized by chaos and the "lie"-destruction of empirical truths. Angra Mainyu's mantra is "ill thoughts, ill words, ill deeds". This is all fascinating to me, but what I think is really cool is that the Ahriman abilities in the final fantasy games are all formed around inflicting chaos and confusion, which seems extremely apt.

And, here's a word of the day/week/whateva:

-construe as a real existence, of a conceptual entity
-To ascribe material existence to.
-to treat or regard (a concept, idea, etc.) as a distinct substance or reality

This is an excellent one, so I'm upping it to 15 points for correct usage in a conversation.

Ok, good night. All hail the scorpion!

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