....as theological as I can get.....

....as theological as I can get.....

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mary May

The month of may, according to most Christian religions, celebrates Mary, the mother of Christ. I, for one, love this concept. I love everything to do with Mary and the idea of Christ, not only being, you know, Christ-ish, but also being someone's kid. Yeah yeah, He's the son of God, but he was also HER FREAKING KID. Certainly, He was probably a pretty good baby and most likely didn't have a bad case of the terrible twos but even still...She was a Mother going through the same thing all mother's deal with on a daily basis: Raising a human. Feeding, caring, diaper changing, kissing boo boos, trying to get her kid to go to sleep (and stay in their own stinking bed)..
Just something to think about. I'll stretch my mind for a good "next up topic". I think it will be something Mormony..hint hint..Awesome Utah Road Trip?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Emoto Water Needs New Glasses

Water makes up 70% of this planet, and roughly 70% of our bodies. We drink water to nourish ourselves, flush out toxins, and stay alive. Obviously, we rely on clean water for our existence. But, is clean water enough? How about happy water? With good self esteem? What about the religion of water?
Enter Dr. (of something) Masaru Emoto.
I used to work at a bookstore...You know, those places where people used to go to buy books-no, not e-books, pieces of paper with words printed in ink and bound together. Yes, they still make them...and one of my favorites in the store was Masaru Emoto's The Hidden Messages in Water. Emoto, spiritual guru and ultimate hippie conservationist, believed that because our bodies and the Earth are composed mainly of water, water, therefore, has it's own energy. The more positive it's energy, the better we as people function and the healthier the planet is.
To prove his point, he took tap water and yelled at it. 
Ok, that needs a little more explaination. But really, he did. He took a bottle of water, called it a fool, played it some Metallica or Japanese death metal or something and then froze it. Later, he took pictures of the water's frozen crystals to see if he could see the effect the negative music and harsh words had on the water's self esteem. The crystals looked like this:
    Then he did the same thing to another bottle of water, but told it something nice and played it some Mozart or CCR or something..The crystals looked like this:

    Makes sense, the vibrations effected the water. You can read into the spiritual stuff if you want to. Anyhoo,
    more recently, Emoto has emerged with a new theory that water can not only listen to it being called names, but can actually read mean words written about it. This poses some serious questions, like, "Water has eyes?" So, in the same fashion as the previous experiments, Emoto took bottles of water and showed it pictures of insulting words, and also pictures of Hitler. Here are the results:

    Now, you are probably wondering what this has to do with anything I usually blog about, but people who believe this, REALLY BELIEVE IT. This is being adopted as a way of life, and is almost religion status. Praying to water, praying for water and living for water. Emoto is gaining spiritual followers, and who is to say what is far fetched anymore? I mean, honestly, how far out is this idea when you place it on the mantel next to E-meters, Kaparot and exorcism? 

    Just some food for thought...or drink..that didn't really work, but you get it.
    For more information check out

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Its in the water!

    Water has it's place in the spiritual realm. Some get dunked in it, others sprinkled. It can be the blood of Christ, or.... 

    purchased at the bodega on the corner!

    Next up: Emoto Water Needs New Glasses!
     ...stay tuned...

    Monday, March 28, 2011


     Happy Holi! I hope you brought your beating sticks and you don't mind a lot of chalk in the ol' peepers!
    Here in Utah, we have a Krishna temple waaaay down in Spanish Fark.."The Lake Elsinore of Utah". The Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple, built to house Utah's booming Hindu community (..Booming? Really?) puts on great festivals throughout the year. The Festival of Colors, otherwise known as Holi, is by far the most well attended event at the temple all year, and commemorates.. well...stuff. Lots of stuff. So much stuff that I decided to only choose 3 stuffs to talk about. So here it goes!

    First of all, Holi is a spring celebration. The seasons are changing, flowers are blooming, colors are bright, animals are doin' it...everything that comes with spring. To commemorate that, people throw colored chalk, or spray liquid pigment all over each others faces and bodies. So there's that.

    Secondly, Holi commemorates the story of the evil non burning, burning witch..Which begins with the story of Hiranyakashyapu...and involves a boon. The story made little sense to me, until I looked up what, exactly, a boon is. Contrary to my belief, a boon is not a shortened word for Baboon. This story, sadly, has no monkeys in it. A boon, is a blessing earned through penance. Anyways, Hiranyakashyapu asked that for his boon, he be granted immortality. The whole not dying thing eventually went to his head, and he began to demand that he be worshiped as a god. Everyone around pretty much went along with it, because..ya know..he was invincible and that makes a pretty good argument for godliness, except for his son, Prahlada, who worshiped Vishnu instead. Well, that didn't sit well with Pops, so he called in his sister Holika, who had a magical shawl that protected her from fire, to kill his son. Prahlada, who was a good kid but not the brightest, decided to climb into a bonfire with weird aunt Holika. I dunno, the idea sounded good at the time I guess. Shockingly, Prahlada started to burn (again, not the smartest kid), but as he chanted Vishnu's name for help, a gust of wind blew Holika's shawl off and the flames jumped off Prahlada's body and onto Holika's instead. So at Holi, to commemorate Holika's virtuous nephew and her dick brother, an effigy of her is burned while people shout "Burn the Witch!". So there's that stuff, too.

    Thirdly, there is my favorite Holi tradition,and by far the best of the many, many rituals (there are seriously a crap load of rituals depending on the village Holi is celebrated in), which involves women beating the shit out of men with sticks while bystanders sing sexy tunes. This tradition originates in the city of Barsana, and is called Lath mar Holi. According to Wikipedia (I write a blog, not for Frommer's, so I can source Wiki),
     "Barsana is the place to be at the time of Holi. Here the famous Lath mar Holi is played in the sprawling compound of the Radha Rani temple. Thousands gather to witness the Lath Mar holi when women beat up men with sticks as those on the sidelines become hysterical, sing Holi Songs and shout Sri Radhey or Sri Krishna. The Holi songs of Braj mandal are sung in pure Braj Bhasha.
    Holi played at Barsana is unique in the sense that here women chase men away with sticks. Males also sing provocative songs in a bid to invite the attention of women. Women then go on the offensive and use long staves called lathis to beat men folk who protect themselves with shields." 
    Do we really have to guess why this happens? Are you dying to know? This ritual commemorates this one time when the women of Barsana got pissed off at Krishna for making fun of them and chased him off with sticks. Imagine, women getting mad for being relentlessly  teased. So there's that stuff, too.

    Regardless of tradition, or religion, Holi is a time to celebrate spring, rebirth, bonfires and man beatings. And yes, I saw God for a brief second..no not during Lath mar Holi..but looking around at the thousands of people gathered together, dancing to bad cover bands, acting like painted idiots, having a good time together. Lets face it, the majority of Utahn's at Holi weren't Hindu, but that didn't matter. We were all just people, having an experience together.
    Some pictures from the festival...
    color throwings

    the main throwing that occured after the lighting of the bonfire and effigy burning

    the temple

    Once again, I have failed at blogging! Time to catch you up!

    Hello bloggsville. I have returned, determined to resume regular posting.
    Allow myself to reintroduce, myself..Julie Marie, 26, currently living in Utah, newly divorced with one 5 year old lil' girl (Ave). Baptized Latter Day Saint (Christian faith) at 8 years old, lost my faith around 13 and have never really understood or cared to return to or find another faith to practice. Oddly enough, around October of last year (growing up makes you second guess all those posh, hip beliefs you, at 18, adopted as truths..Just ask my right arm's Vegan tattoo) I started thinking about churches, and God and the connection between the two. Does God live in a church? Do I need a church to find God? And in a Seinfeldish manner, I had to ask myself and the world, "What's the deal with all these Churches?" How do you choose which one to go to? I didn't have a choice as a kid. I just went..Unless there was a new Ren and Stimpy on. I don't know how everyone else was raised to view religion, but I was brought up in one church, one faith, one idea. Just one. Yah, I've got some Jewish blood running through my veins (the Jew Hair don't lie), but I've only been to temple a handful of times, and only around high holidays or before bar mitzvas.
    So, curious to act on this new interest to learn more about church, religion, God, prophets, mysticism, myths and everything else under the broad, broad heading of THEOLOGY, I started this blog back in January. I started out strong, determined to visit a new church every week, but after a month of heavy church exploration I only found myself more confused and burnt out than ever. So in March, the blog went on hiatus and I chilled out.
    Now, I'm back. Tah Dah! And what a time to be back! Easter, Lent, Pentecost, Spring, Rebirth...I'm such a sucker for timing.
    Up next: Holi Fest, AKA the Festival of Colors. Yeah, I went. In Utah. I know, right?

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Hello, again.

    Midterms are over. Blogging commences.
    ..Back to those praise breaks and Pentecostal behaviors I promised to explain...
    For the most part, Pentecostal practitioners believe that gifts-- like speaking in tongues-- still exist in the latter days. The religion focuses on having an extremely personal experience with God, like so personal that He completely fills you up and you can't help but run, and jump around. Also, the idea is that God doesn't care that you look silly and are speaking in gibberish, because you're only communicating with Him during these times.This concept, while not universal to all Pentecostals, is pretty widely accepted and practiced, hence the allotted time during Sunday services to express oneself.. So Jump, Shake and Shimmy the Godly sillies out, and rock on, Praise Breaks! 
    I'm a pretty shy person..I have to have quite a bit of liquid courage to even rhythmically shift my weight back and forth in public, in a dark night club. Sorry Pentecostals, I don't think your church is right for me.. unless you increase the size of those lil' plastic communion wine cups and use vodka RedBulls to represent the blood of Christ.
     I have this in my head now..had to add it.

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    An explaination of the Holy Ghost Explosion Praise Break Extravaganza

    Will come tomorrow. I have been waiting for my neighbors to reset the modem all day so I can steal their internet...figures they reset it AFTER 4 Jim Beams.
    Huzzah, tomorrow will answer all those lingering questions surrounding those APDGA's (Apostolic Public Displays of Godly Affliction).

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    Apostolic let down...This isn't over.

    I don't think I have ever been in the presence of a nicer group of people. 
    This is the primary reason I will most likely never return to this particular congregation again. 

    Folks, I am kind of bummed out about this post. I showed up for 10am service with the high hopes of meeting and seeing some crazy, crazy worshipers. I don't know if I chose the wrong Sunday, or this congregation is relatively mellow, but it was just a normal tambourine-ish church. I, once again, sat in the back and looked at the back of everyone's heads..Which were awesome! Swirly braids, prom style up-do's and BUNS. Oh, the buns. I am really sad that there was no Holy Ghost Explosion, or Cah-razy praise break for me to secretly video and post on the blog. I will, however, make plans to visit a larger congregation out of state. I just have to see these people in action.
    Sorry to disappoint y'all. 
    Here's a gratuitous youtube vid of what I wish I would have seen today.

    Saturday, February 5, 2011

    UPCI Ho!

    Tomorrow. 10AM. First Apostolic Church of Salt Lake City. (Pentecostal Church)

    I will just preface tomorrow's post by letting you all know that:
    1. I know nothing about this faith.
    2. Finding a listing for a Pentecostal congregation in Utah that was active every Sunday was not easy. I had lots of random leads (manta, yellow pages, etc), which led me to sites that were no longer active, and phone numbers that had been disconnected.
    3. When you plug the word "Pentecostal" into your search engine, a suggestion of "Pentecostal Hairstyles" will pop up. When you image search those hairstyles, pompadours and intricate braids akin to the ones worn by my FLDS relatives will dominate your Bing image page. 
    **Here's why: An apostolic hairstyle is one that's associated with the Pentecostal religion. Typically, orthodox women of the Pentecostal faith don't cut or even trim their hair, instead growing it as long as possible. 
    I'll give you a run down on the hair, the sermon and the experience tomorrow, I guess!


    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    No love..

    ...For the Methodist church on my poll~!?
     Happy February! As I was sitting in Art History 2710 today, listening to my professor lecture on Grecian Geometric period, I started to think about the Greek's religious stories, and then realized that it's already February, which led me to think about Aphrodite, and love and the theme of this sick, sappy month.
    Do you know Mighty Aphrodite's story?? 

    Think back to the 5th grade.. waaaay back. Remember when your teacher, in my case Mrs. Gargol, called you and your sweet, innocent fellow 5th graders to the story time rug to recite the myth of Uranus and Gaia from Greek Mythology? Uranus (Father Heavens) and Gaia (Mother Earth) were lovers, but like the typical jerky boyfriend, Uranus couldn't commit and forbade Gaia to give birth to their children.  Because the pill wasn't available, Gaia just "held it in". As you can imagine, Gaia's uterus began to get pretty crowded with unborned kiddos (The Titans) fighting over the one freaking mirror in the bathroom. As you can also imagine, Gaia had some pretty wicked cramping. Conspiring with her then in-utero son, Chronus, she forged a sickle out of steel (kegals ladies!) and instructed Chronus to attack Uranus the next time she and he had intercourse.
    Well, about 10 minutes later Uranus came 'round for the usual "hotcha cha cha"....What a shocker when Chronus chopped off Uranus's manhood and threw it into the sea! From a Lorena Bobbit moment, sea foam and some salt water, Aphrodite was born. The goddess of love..and severed sea shmeckels.

    FYI, The Titans were borned, and Chronus ended up following in his Fathers footsteps and jerking his wife around too.

    Happy Love Month. 

    Monday, January 31, 2011


    I'll just come out and say it: I love stuff. I love having an excuse to buy stuff--especially trinkets. This afternoon I took a trip to Immaculate Heart to see if I could get some literature to answer some of the questions I woke up perplexed with this morning. (Mommy, where do communion wafers come from?) Anyways, I went to the Catholic BOOKSTORE to get some BOOKS to READ, right? Wrong. Lemme let ya in on a lil' secret: Catholics love baubles, doodads, gewgaws and gimcracks! There were books in there, towards the back, but first I had to wade through Crucifixes, cases of Rosary beads, statues, Rosary rings, Saint coins, Saint stones, Rosary cards, Saint cards, Rosary magnets with Saints on them reciting The Rosary while holding a Crucifix, and even guitar picks with teeny tiny prayers inscribed on them. Oh, and everything is gold. Yellow gold. Gaudy gold. I think that is where the term Gaudy comes from... Catholics use an INSANE amount of yellow gold leafing on, well, God and everything else. Fortunately, gold leaf is safe to ingest. Can you imagine if Catholics had chosen Chrome Yellow PbCr04 instead of gold leafing for all those embellishments?!?
    Anyways, I picked up some paperback books after I hit up the 75% off table and magnet bin and am looking forward to reading all about the thing that I watched those people do last night, i.e. Mass.
    My Loot

    Why should JesusFish and RULDS stickers be the only decals on the road..Ladies and gent's I introduce you to the fine company, Catholicar! Bumper stickers for "Roamin'" Catholics.

    A decal for you?
    ...And lastly, this is where communion wafers come from.

    **Does your church have cool trinkets? Julie Marie wants to know!**

    Blog b lookin' fiiiine.

    I wanted to say thanks to Jess @ IROCKSOWHAT for fixing my blog and making it look all respectable-like. Thank you, Thank you.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    Virgin no more.

    I have officially had my first Catholic experience. To make up for my fiasco this morning I went to the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City for 6pm mass. First let me just say that the cathedral is GORGEOUS outside and in. The religious art adorning the interior is super Roman Christian era, and everything is inlaid with gold. I was glad I came 15 minutes early so I could just sit in a pew to take it all in by myself.
    The 40 minute drive was eventful in itself. I blared Hall & Oates the whole way and seat belt danced my jitters away. Private Eyes is my Handel's Messiah (it probably would be The Annunciation..H2O would definitely be The Passion and Big Bam Boom would be The Aftermath for sure).
    As I turned onto South Temple Street, and drove past the LDS Salt Lake Temple, a thought popped into my head pertaining to the sticker on the back of my Ford Focus. This Sticker.

    (I texted JS asking if my tires were going to get slashed for having such a sacrilegious decal adorning my vehicle, and he responded with "The Pope is Dope".)
    I parked, tried in vain to peel the sticker off, gave up and walked to the cathedral's entrance.
    Ready for anything, I pushed open the giant wooden door and was met by a smiling...Black Priest?
    **Excuse my seemingly racist comment, but you must understand that I was raised in a predominantly white LDS church in a predominantly white wealthy town. I have never been in a church and seen, well, a black person. **
    After receiving the day's program from the priest, I found a pew comfortably (but not completely) near the back of the Chapel (is it called a chapel? I think so) and sat.The church filled up with TONS of people, of all different ethnicity's. It was really cool. Did you know that there are Catholic Indian people? Well there are, and they are in Salt Lake City Utah.
    The service was nice..Lots of sing talking, standing, sitting, kneeling and the like.
    Did I feel God? I don't know..I felt relaxed. It was odd. Church usually makes me on edge. JS was right, and only half of the congregation got in line for the communion, and only every 3 people threw a buck in the donation baskets. After the service ( I really liked the melodic chant, "Mass is ended you may go...") I didn't get heckled or pressured to talk and divulge any information about myself. In fact, no one gave a crap that I even came. I appreciated that, and may return to not get noticed again.
    Here are some pictures of The Cathedral of the Madeleine, courtesy of Saltlakecitycathedral.org

    Failure, thy name is J Marie

    I should be in a church right....Now. Literally now. I failed on my first try. I didn't do it on purpose, did I?
    Let's see..I woke up at 930. Thirty minutes later than I should have, but one hour should have been workable amount of time to get my hair flat ironed, contacts in and dress on.

    Sent via text at 10:25 am
    Me: Darn it...I tried to go to church..not happening today. I'm not ready and V's church shoes that match her dress didn't make it home with her, like her dad said they did (yes, I threw my ex under the church bus).
    JS: Sorry love, but there's church all day you know.

    Huh? Church all day? Seriously? Why?

    JS: Sometimes it takes people all day to convince themselves to go.

    ...If at first you don't get your ass up for church, go to a later mass.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011

    Fully Briefed

    What follows is a conversation via text between myself and JS (JS is my one Catholic friend, and oldest friend on the face of the planet). T-12 hours before I hit up my first church, St. Peter Parish-Mass tomorrow at 10:30 am. I have never been to church by myself, much less an intense Catholic one.

    Me: I'm going to Mass tomorrow. What do I wear?? Do I just show up or what? I'm getting weirded out about going...
    JS: Formal casual is usually the garb, people don't really show up in ties and flower dresses..but ur in Utah so who knows. Everywhere else is nice casual.
    Me: :( I'm really nervous. Totally out of my comfort zone to go. Do I just show up and sit down? Or do I have to tell someone I'm not Catholic?
    JS: Just show up and sit in a pew, stand, sit and kneel when everyone else does. When its time for communion, do not get up and go..about half of the people wont go. Ur supposed to have confession before u eat communion. When tithing happens they just pass a basket around, ur not required to put anything in. Again, The Church is very loose, everything is very repetitious and ancient..
    Me: What do I do with the kid?? Is is like tambourine church where she goes to a day care? Does she stand, sit and kneel with me?
    JS (calling me at this point): Look, these people probably aren't  tightly knit. Just sit and watch. It will probably go quick...Just wrangle your kid, don't do anything offensive and try not to stare. The Catholic Church doesn't need more members so you wont be pressured..well maybe the Utah Catholics.

    Alright...wish me luck. I'll have a full report tomorrow.