Shiva Pashupati from Harappa – looks like Kernunnos
I learned a new term the other week – IndoPaganism – which i had never heard of before, but i guess i would have to define myself as one of them, or more accurately as IndoWiccan or IndoWitchcraft. (don’t try to follow the links at the bottom of that page as they all lead to those dreaded Tripod sites with lots of pop ups).
Kernunnos from the Gundestrup cauldron – looks like Shiva
Back in my early 20s I dropped Christianity and started practicing Buddhism, notably Zen, and for a short time took my vows as a Koren Zen monk in a small monastery outside Corning, NY. A short time later i lived in a Hindu ashram and was initiated into the lineage of Shiva Lakulash, a very primitive form of Shiva similar to Pashupati Shiva, the Lord of Animals in ancient India. Throughout my life i have continued to receive teachings and initiations into various Tibetan Buddhist deities and practices, and continued to study the shamanism practiced even today in Nepal where Buddhism, Shaivism and Shaktism mix harmoniously. In parts of SE Asia, like Bali and Thailand, they are also mixed, from first Hinduism and then Buddhism spreading there and layering themselves on top of the native “pagan” practices of the worship of various devas, nats, nagas and other spirits of the elements. For me the statues and carvings of Shiva and Kernunnos, Kali and Hekate, and other of the oldest eastern and western deities seem to hold the same universal energies.
In fact, i think that my study of these systems has taught me more about what Paganism may have been like in Europe before Christianity all but wiped it out. A similar layering happened when Christianity tried to wipe out the Vodoun of Africa and the Caribbean, and the native practices of Mexico and the Andes. So my suggestion is to read books on the anthropology of the primitive tribes still barely hanging on rather than new agey fantasy reconstructions of pagan history, though the serious scholars’ writings may have some hint of the truth, especially through archeology and translations of old surviving texts. But ultimately i do not think we will ever know the true story of our religious past. Do we Have to practice Exactly what out ancestors practiced? I don’t think so. But we can use them as a template to construct our own practices now for this time. (In other words, no we do not have to cut off a horse’s head and stick it on a pole in our yard facing our enemies, etc).
If you look at sigils and talismans from the Solomonic grimoires, and Vodoun veves and Hindu mandala paintings, though the patterns may be a little different, the magicke seems the same.
Another blog posting that i found that weaved this together is from an Australian Thelemite who writes about the athame, kris knife and phurba n the same post called The Athame and other Ritual Daggers in the Western Mystery Tradition. He admits to not being a practicer of witchcraft, but makes some good points in this post and connects these and other types of metal weapons together rather well. And the links at the end of his post are safe and informative to follow. I myself own many phurbas and a couple old Indonesian Kris blades which i have used at times substituting for my athame and sword.
Kris blades in my collection
So as i simultaneously progressed in my initiations into Witchcraft I was able to weave it all together into a system that works for me. And as stated above i guess it does have a legitimate name of Indo-Paganism or Indo-Wicca.
Various blades from the Solomonic grimoires
Blessed Be and Om Namah Shivayah!