Several months ago I noted a rather curious story upon the front page of Raw Story. It proclaimed: "Severed head, hands found below Hollywood sign." Regular readers of this blog will know that such a headline is sure to perk my interest, as I'm quite fixated on the act of decapitation, which has its own section on this blog. Decapitation is of course highly significant in the occult, as I've documented before here. For our purposes here the Celtic fetish with severed heads is most relevant. In brief:
"In the Celtic world, the head was the focus of practices and beliefs which differed in detail, but possessed an overall homogeneity. The most important custom was warlike: the Gauls used to cut off the heads of their conquered enemies, tie them to the necks of their horses and bear them home in triumph. These trophies were carefully preserved, in cedar-oil if need be... The decapitated head is a regular motif of Gallic coinage and in the Gallic and Gallo-Roman plastic arts. Irish custom was identical with Gallic and insular heroic literature contains countless examples of the warrior carrying off the head of the enemy he has killed in single combat. The head would thus symbolize the enemy's strength and warlike virtues that his conqueror had acquired, and decapitation would also ensure the death of the enemy. According to Celtic notions, death did not occur until the cerebral membranes were destroyed. The heads taken by the warriors of Ulster were preserved at the court of King Conchobar in a special building, the 'Red Branch.' This is the counterpart, in myth, of the shrine at Entremont in what was southern Gaul. The followers of the Welsh king, Bran, brought his head back from Ireland, where they had been defeated, and buried it on Gwynrryn, 'the White Hill,' in London. So long as it remains buried, the island of Britain will remain free from invasion."
(Dictionary of Symbols, Jean Chevalier & Alain Gheerbrant, pgs. 476-477)
|Bran the Blessed|
Of course, the Celts are hardly the only peoples with a skull cult -In fact, the skull cult is one of the oldest (possibly the oldest) religions on earth... There's just something about beheading a human being and preserving the heads that has spoken to peoples the world over on a certain level. This particular cult was even incorporated into Christianity as the cephalophores, headless saints of whom Saint Denis is the most well known.
Anyway, on to the murder. Raw Story stated:
"Police found two human hands near where a couple of dog walkers found a gruesome severed head, on a hiking trail leading up to the iconic Hollywood sign, a spokesman said.
"The hands were found after police sealed off the area overnight following the discovery of the head, reported to be that of a male in his 40s, on a trail in the Hollywood hills.
"Detectives believe the victim was killed elsewhere and his body parts dumped on the trail, which leads up through a canyon to the Hollywood sign, photographed by millions of tourists every year."
The Hollywood sign is also a most curious place for such a find to be made. Conspiracy theorists have been obsessed with the word 'Hollywood' for years. Of it, Alan Watts remarks:
"Hollywood is the magician's wand (holly-holy) which has been used to cast a spell on the unsuspecting public. Things or ideas which would otherwise be seen as bizarre, vulgar, undesirable or impossible are inserted into films in the realm of fantasy. When the viewer watches these films, his/her mind is left open to suggestion and the conditioning process begins. These same movies which are designed to program the average person, can give the discerning viewer a better understanding of the workings and the plan of the world agenda. Be-aware'."
The association of Hollywood with a druid's wand has become common in conspiracy circles over the past decade. I have yet to find such an association outside of conspiracy works, however. In point of fact, it was seemingly the oak that the Druids revered above all other trees. It was the oak that was believed to produce the Druids' sacred mistletoe.
"Although mistletoe grows commonly on various trees, such as apple, poplar, and willow, it was only the much rarer form found on the oak that the Druids considered sacred... and it was from the oak that the priests derived their name. Clad in white, they climbed the tree and harvested the mistletoe with a golden sickle, while others below received it in a white cloak, never allowing it to touch the ground. It was present at all their religious rituals, and they did eat it, sometimes making a potion from it."That being said, the holly was quite sacred to the ancient Celts. The holly was associated with the letter 'T' in the Celtic sacred alphabet and was considered one of the seven royal trees, among others things. In point of fact, the status of the holly is rather confusing.
(The Apples of Apollo, Carl Ruck, Blaise Daniel Staples & Clark Heinrich, pg. 20)
"The eighth tree is the holly, which flowers in July. The holly appears in the originally Irish Romance of Gawain and the Green Knight. The Green Knight is an immortal giant whose club is a holly-bush. He and Sir Gawain, who appears in the Irish version as Cuchulain, a typical Hercules, make a compact to behead one another at alternate New Years --meaning midsummer and midwinter --but, in effect, the Holly Knight spares the Oak Knight. In Sir Gawain's Marriage, a Robin Hood ballad, King Arthur, who there has a seat at Carlisle, says:
--as I came over a moor,
I see a lady where she sateBetween an oak and a green hollen.She was clad in red scarlet.
"This lady, whose name is not mentioned, will have been the goddess Creiddylad for whom, in Welsh myth, the Oak Knight and Holly Knight fought every first of May until Doomsday. Since in mediaeval practice St. John the Baptist, who lost his head on St. John's Day, took over the oak-king's titles and customs, it was natural to let Jesus, as John's merciful successor, take over the holly-king's. The holly was thus glorified beyond the oak. For example, in the Holly Tree Carols:
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The Holly bears the crown
"--a sentiment that derives from the Song of the Forest Trees: 'Of all trees whatsoever the critically best is holly.' In each stanza of the carol, with its apt chorus about 'the rising of the Sun, the running of the deer,' some property of the tree is equated with the birth or passion of Jesus: the whiteness of the flower, the redness of the berry, the sharpness of the prickles, the bitterness of the bark. 'Holly' means 'holy.' Yet the holly which is native to the British Isles is unlikely to be the original tree of the alphabet: it has probably displaced the evergreen scarlet-oak with which it has much in common, including the same botanical name ilex, and which was not introduced into the British Isles until the sixteenth century. The scarlet-oak, or kerm-oak, or holly-oak, is the evergreen twin of the ordinary oak and its Classical Greek names prinos and hysge are also used for holly in modern Greece. It has prickly leaves and nourishes the kerm, a scarlet insect not unlike the holly-berry... from which the ancients made their royal scarlet dye and an aphrodisiac elixir. In the Authorized Version of the Bible the word 'oak' is sometimes translated 'terebinth' and sometimes 'scarlet-oak', and these trees make a sacred pair in the Palestinian religion. Jesus wore kerm-scarlet when attired as King of the Jews...
"We may regard the letters D and T as twins: 'the lily white boys clothed all in green o!' of the mediaeval Green Rushes song. D is the oak which rules the waxing part of the year --the sacred Druidic oak, the oak of the Golden Bough. T is the evergreen oak which rues the waning part, the bloody oak: thus an evergreen oak-grove near the Corinthian Asopus was sacred to the Furies. Dann or Tann, the equivalent of Tinne, is a Celtic word for any sacred tree. In Gaul and Brittany it meant 'oak', in Celtic Germany it meant 'fir'; in Cornwall the compound glas-tann ('green sacred tree') meant evergreen holm-oak, and the English word 'to tan' comes from the use of its bark in tanning. However, in ancient Italy it was the holly, not the evergreen oak, which the husbandmen used in their midwinter Saturnalia. Tannus was the name of the Gaulish Thunder-god, and Tina that of the Thunder-god, armed with triple thunder-bolt, whom the Etruscans took over from the Goidelic tribes among whom they settled."
(The White Goddess, Robert Graves, pgs. 179-181)
|the Green Knight, seated upon the horse, holding a severed head in his hand|
Graves essentially declares the holly tree as the holy of holy among trees venerated by the ancient Celts, but then argues that the holly tree was a later addition, replacing the evergreen oak, when the tradition came to the British Isles. This is apt as the oak was venerated as the chief sacred tree all over the rest of Europe.
"Now of all European trees none has such claims as the oak to be considered as pre-eminently the sacred tree of the Aryans. Its worship is attested for all the great branches of the Aryan stock in Europe. According to Grimm, the oak ranked first among the holy trees of the Germans. It is certainly known to have been adored by them in the age of heathendom, and traces of its worship have survived in various parts of Germany almost to the present day. Among the ancient Italians the oak was sacred above all other trees. We may certainly conclude that this tree was venerated by the Aryans in common before the dispersion; and that their primitive home must have lain in a land which was clothed with forests of oak."And yet the Green Knight uses a holly-bush club. The Green Knight is clearly a stand in for the after mentioned Bran, a legendary king of Britain who was also a giant and beheaded. Bran was likely an oak-king, who was replaced by the 'holly king' Gwydion. Graves theorizes that this myth partly reflects an ancient conquest of the British Isles, with Bran representing the traditional religion of the Isles, while Gwydion is the faith of the invaders. Could the reference to the Green Knight's holly club then represent the style of wands originally used in the elder religion of Britain?
(The Golden Bough, James Frazer, pgs. 753-754)
"Authorities have identified the man whose head, hands and feet were found in the Hollywood Hills, but have not yet released his name, officials said Friday.
"Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter told NBCLosAngeles.com that the name was being withheld at the request of the Los Angeles police detectives who are continuing to investigate the crime. Officials also want to notify the man's family before releasing the information to the public, the television website reported.
"On Thursday evening, police served a search warrant in an apartment complex in Hollywood, close to Sunset Boulevard and Vine Streets, according to the Los Angeles Times. They towed a silver Honda from the building, the Times reported.
"Although no arrests have been made in the case, the Times is reporting that at least one person was questioned by detectives Thursday. Sources close to the investigation said police were also looking to talk to at least one other man.
"Meanwhile, investigators in California were downplaying any possible connection between the body parts case in Los Angeles and a dismembered body found earlier this month in a rural area of Tuscon, Ariz.
" 'It's fairly implausible that somebody would drive parts of a dead body five hours from Arizona to our Griffith Park,' Los Angeles Police Cmdr. Andrew Smith told Reuters.
"Smith added there was also no evidence that the man in California was the victim of organized crime or a serial killer.
"Arizona sheriff officials say they are are awaiting DNA results, expected Tuesday, to try to definitively rule out any connection between the two cases.
"Pima County Sheriff's Deputy Dawn Barkman said two men were cutting grass along the side of a rural road on Jan. 6 found a body without a head, hands or feet. Investigators determined the body had been in that location for only 24 hours, and a search turned up none of the missing body parts, she said.
"Los Angeles police believe their victim was killed elsewhere and the body parts were buried or hidden to deter identification, according to NBCLosAngeles.com."I kept my eyes peeled for a follow up to this story, but it never came... Until June 8. It as on that day that MSNBC finally had a follow up to the Hollywood sign body parts story and it did not disappoint. Apparently, authorities are now speculating that Luka Magnotta, the Canadian cannibal who murdered, dismembered, and partially ate a man and then posted footage of it online, was some how involved with this killing. MSNBC reports:
"Police in Canada investigating the horrific murder and dismemberment of a student have been contacted by Los Angeles police officers about a similar slaying of a 66-year-old man, whose body was found under the famous Hollywood sign, according to reports.
"The Toronto Star reported that 29-year-old porn film actor Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man suspected of killing of Chinese student Jun Lin, may have lived in Los Angeles at one time. Montreal police told the paper that he had lived somewhere on the U.S. West Coast.
"In late January, the remains of a retired airline worker were found in Los Angeles. The body of Hervey Medellin, 66, had been found by dog walkers near the Hollywood sign after one of the dogs found a plastic bag containing his severed head.
" 'The body parts are the common denominator here,' Los Angeles police spokesman Officer Lyle Knight said, according to the Star. "That's why our investigators want to talk to the Canadians. We want to know if his whereabouts included Hollywood because we understand he was in the acting field and Hollywood being the acting and movie mecca, we want to know.'
"Los Angeles police told ABC News that Medellin was openly gay, and noted that Medellin's hands and feet had also been cut off.
"The similarities between the Los Angeles killing and the Canada murder four months later are striking. Lin, 33, who was studying computer science at Concordia University in Montreal, was killed in May. His hands and feet were sent in the mail to schools in Vancouver and political offices in Ottawa, while his torso was found in a suitcase in Montreal. His head has not been found."
The Hollywood sign murder was already strikingly weird, with overtones of ancient pagan -death-and-rebirth rituals --The Green Knight is beheaded by the holly king in one form or another in ancient tradition, and now a severed head (among other things) is found beneath the Hollywood sign in modern L.A.
Now we also have to contend with the possibility that the head was put there by Magnotta, whom I've already written on before here. Magnotta is quickly transforming from a tabloid headline into a Thomas Harris-like serial killer. He globe-trots, he seduces, and he participates in incredibly gruesome murders with heavy occult overtones, not unlike Dr. Lecter. It will be most curious to see how many bodies are turned up in association with Magnotta when all is said and done, pending the authorities are allowed to peruse all angles.
Of course, we all know that's not going to happen. We can only guess at whether there is a hidden hand behind all this, or whether Magnotta was merely caught in the zeitgeist.