After ravenously consuming folklore & mythology I noticed some weird patterns.
All over the world people seem to share taboos over names. Mayan people never called the jaguar by its true name, various European cultures used codewords for the Bear, and even people like the Zulu never called the leopard a leopard in Zulu under most circumstances.
Another thing I notice is that people were very apprehensive about giving out their real names to strangers, many using "public" names and "true" names.
Why is that?
Also, why did cultures worldwide try to seclude girls in the dark when they had their first periods?
Why did completely unrelated people feel the need to sacrifice animals, plants, and even people to supernatural beings? Even christians believe that death and blood were needed to save mankind. So often you see gods dying and being resurrected for the greater good.
>various European cultures used codewords for the Bear
In Finnish mythology bears (oksi) were called karhu, mesikämmen, kontio, metsän omena, metsän kuninga or nalle. This was done because you didn't want to summon the bear to you. Bears were respected and feared.
I assume this is the same reason why other cultures did it too.
well in regards to names, it is known in occultism and as it has been depicted before in religious texts like the bible, knowing the true name of an entity puts you in contact with said entity. it's complicated to explain but essentially, you call up the spirit of the entity with the said name when done ritually or by a person of high spiritual attainment. it grants control over another.
in the exorcism of the madman from the cliffside, Jesus addressed the gestalt of demons in the man what their name was, and it replied
>Legion, for we are many
in ancient judaism, along with kabbalah, the true name of god was said to give power over creation.
the idea is that the true name expresses true nature, and thus penetrating the core of said thing, puts you in control of it.
Names hold power. To speak it is for it to come into being. Common/basic ~ ~ magic ~ ~.
Because of the spiritual logic contained in the zeitgeist of ancient beliefs. It just made sense to them to describe things instead of naming them, because it was uinversal. I made sense that blood was powerful, because it was inside every conscious living thing. It made sense that the dark of fearsome, because your defenses were lower and your chances of death were higher. These were things that seemed like simple logic to ancient people. This is how we get spiritual beliefs like animism.
I've seen a few instances of people trying to build universal religions based on the fundamental, proto-religious superstitions that ancient people believed in or may have believed in, seeing them as being pure and unclouded by racial/ethnic/cultural bias.
Speak the name of the threat enough and it becomes real and wrecks your shit.
The 'name' thing is, in my opinion, pretty simple to understand. We still do it today, with what we call 'the elephant in the room'. Oftentimes, we choose not to say something because we don't want everybody thinking about it. Like how you don't mention a guy's ex-girlfriend when you're talking to his current girlfriend; nobody in the room (presumably) likes her, so you don't want to conjure up her image or anything negative associated with it. Similarly, if you were out on a hunt with the other men seeking the village's essential nutriment and you said 'bear', everybody would have bears on the mind and get scared and it'd throw off the whole hunt. Using terms to sort of vaguely describe scary things gives them less presence in your mind; saying "fuzzy brown creature" doesn't provoke the same gut reaction as "bear!". I don't know if this is the real reason behind it, but that's just what I think.
this has kind of parallel with runes. in old scandinavian society, runes were considered to hold a form of magic. a man who could read and write runes was considered a mystic / sorcerer of sorts. i guess the concept of being able to draw patterns that correspond to ideas, was something really special back then. maybe they would write the word "protection" on a shield for example, and they would then consider that shield imbued with the power of the word.
So if this was the case why didn't they just say "giant mammoth please walk right by us and die" ie: summoning animals for food?
I know it doesn't make sense, it doesn't have to. It's just superstition, and that's the whole answer to this thread. Humans are very creative creatures and thus come up with grand stories.
>I've seen a few instances of people trying to build universal religions based on the fundamental, proto-religious superstitions that ancient people believed in or may have believed in, seeing them as being pure and unclouded by racial/ethnic/cultural bias.
Can you provide some examples? I'd love to do some research about this.
Also spiritual entities like the fair folk or demons.
>Mayan people never called the jaguar by its true name, various European cultures used codewords for the Bear, and even people like the Zulu never called the leopard a leopard in Zulu under most circumstances.