Rammstein – Deutschland

Celebrating and bemoaning all things Teutonic, Rammstein’s newly released single is accompanied by this highly visual music video which is set in multiple periods of Germanic history, from the early Roman imperial campaigns in Germania, the First, Second and Third Reich, and up to the present.

Germany – my heart in flames
Want to love and damn you
Germany – your breath’s cold
So young, and yet so old
Germany!

Deutschland – mein Herz in Flammen
Will dich lieben und verdammen
Deutschland – dein Atem kalt
So jung – und doch so alt
Deutschland!

Cuneiform inscription from the Ziggurat of Ur – The British Museum

In certain galleries of the British Museum, visitors are allowed to hold ancient artifacts with their own hands. This piece in my hand is an inscription in cuneiform from the 21st Century BCE Ziggurat of Ur. The Ziggurat, which still partially stands, was a temple complex dedicated to the Moon god Nanna (Sin). He was described as the father of all gods, and the “Lord of Wisdom”. The main sanctuary at Ur was called E-gish-shir-gal, “house of the great light”.
In some legends, Nanna begat the goddess Inanna (also known as Ishtar), who governed love and beauty and was associated with the planet Venus. She was called the “Queen of the Heaven”, and her religious influence has stretched into the present day: later known by the Phoenicians as Astarte, then to the Greeks as Aphrodite, all of whom share many similarities to the Virgin Mary of Christian worship (also a Queen of Heaven).
We are all heirs to great Mystery. None of our modern religions have ever stood on their own. They are built on the shoulders of giants, ever more ancient and nebulous because of the vast gulfs of time that stand between us and them. As I held this precious and unique artifact in my hands, I had a true sense of awe as I contemplated these ideas in my heart. To many of my friends, history is boring. I have always found that history is alive and we are surrounded and formed by it in every single way. Perhaps in another 4,000 years, this tablet will still be preserved next to artifacts from our own times, where other people will delicately hold them and wonder at what was…

Worship of the Moon God. Cylinder-seal of Khashkhamer, patesi of Ishkun-Sin, and vassal of Ur-Engur, king of Ur (c. 2400 BC) (British Museum). 

A Pound of Flesh

/u/xspikeshadowsx shared this post on the Satanism subreddit the other day. I can’t even imagine the pain or the dedication it would take to withstand scarification like this.

Credit /u/xspikeshadowsx. Used with permission.

“First they traced the outline with a scalpel, then lifted and cut the skin on the inside of the design, and finally scraped some flesh out to make sure it was even over the whole symbol to promote a nice smooth healing process and clear end result.”

“I wanted the symbol to be as brutal as possible, not only from a design and aestethic point of view, but also the process, what’s more brutal then scar tissue and mutilation, right?

Commitment to the process wasn’t really much of an issue, once I set my mind on something not a lot is going to stop me, and I think that level of determination helped while the procedure was under way. There was no pain relief in any way shape or form, I wanted to earn this symbol, but even saying that, it was one of the most painful experiences of my life.”