Friday, September 1, 2023



According to ancient Greek religion and mythology, Demeter is the goddess of harvest & agriculture. She presides over crops, grains, food, and the earth's fertility. While people know her as a grain goddess, she was also seen appearing as a goddess of health, birth, and marriage. Moreover, it is believed that she had connections to the Underworld. She was called by the name Deo (Δηώ) and was the second kid of Cronus and Titans Rhea in the Greek tradition. And she is sister to Hestia, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. Her father swallowed her as an infant like her other siblings but Zeus. And she was rescued by Zeus.

She gave birth to Persephone through her brother Zeus. In this regard, you should know that Persephone was the fertility goddess. The Homeric Hymn to Demeter describes the abduction story of Persephone by Hades and the search of Demeter for her. Hades, who was the king of the Underworld, wanted to marry Persephone. So, when Persephone was picking flowers in a field, he abducted her from there. Demeter started searching everywhere to find Persephone, who was missing, to no avail until Demeter knew that  Hades had taken her daughter. After knowing that, she neglected her duties as the goddess of agriculture as she planned to plunge the earth into a deadly famine that didn't allow anything to grow. As a result, mortals could die. So, Zeus gave the order to Hades to return Persephone to Demeter so that the disaster can be averted. But the twist comes here as her daughter has eaten food from the Underworld. Therefore, Persephone was unable to stay forever with her mother. That's why she needed to divide the year between her mother and her husband. And according to the seasonal cycle, Persephone had to manage the year because Demeter prevents all plants from growing when her daughter is gone.

Cult titles of Demeter include Sito (Σιτώ), "she of the Grain," etc. Besides, she was the provider of food or grain and Thesmophoros, the "giver of customs'' or "legislator." Apart from being the goddess of the harvest, Demeter was also the goddess of the cycle of life & death and sacred law. Demeter & Persephone were the main figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries. People considered Demeter the same figure as the Anatolian goddess Cybele. In addition, Demeter was identified with Ceres who is a Roman goddess.

Who is Demeter?

According to Greek tradition, Demeter was a goddess of agriculture, grain, and bread. She was described as a mature woman who wore a crown and bore sheaves of wheat or a cornucopia & a torch.

Demeter as an agricultural goddess:

She is considered as the Corn-Mother in epic poetry and Hesiod's Theogony. Hence, Demeter is the goddess of cereals who offers grain for bread, blessing its harvesters. She took help from the wind in Homer's Iliad to separate the grain from the chaff. Thalysia, a Greek harvest festival of the first fruits, was celebrated in Demeter's honor. Prayers to Demeter and Zeus-Chthonios assist crops in growing strong. It was her major function at Eleusis, and Demeter became panhellenic. She was regarded as the zeros arοura, the Homeric "Mother Earth arοura" who has given the gift of cereals.

In most epithets, Demeter was described as a goddess of grain. In literature, she was called Deo, which is related to deai, a Cretan word for cereals. Demeter was known as Haloas in Attica as per her old conception as the Corn mother. In addition, Chloe (ripe-grain or fresh green) was one of his names. Besides, she was called Ioulo. While Chloe was regarded as the goddess of young corn & young vegetation, "Iouloi'' refers to harvest songs which were sung in her honor. She was called Amallophoros (bringer of sheaves) & Amaia (reaper) by reapers. Moreover, she was known by the names: Sito and Himalis. In Attica, Demeter was called Ompnia.

She was the provider of an abundance of food. The bread from the first harvest-fruits was called Malaysian bread in her honor. The sacrificial cakes which were burnt in the altar called "Romania," While people offered these cakes to all gods, they gave big loaves to the goddess on a few occasions. In Boeotia, she was called Megalartos and Megalomazos. Demeter had the epithets eukaryotes, karpophores which means the bringer of fruits, malapropos, and Oria.

Her reunion with her daughter was the main theme in the Eleusinian Mysteries. Athenian rhetoric Isocrates said that agriculture was her best gift to mankind as, in this way, people get a civilized way of life. She is the goddess who taught the laws of agriculture to the civilized people. Eleusinia, the epithet of Demeter, is connected to the Eleusinian mysteries.

Demeter Thesmophoros is connected to the laws of cereal agriculture. It was a festival celebrated throughout Greece and was related to a form of agrarian magic. Demeter was called Demeter-Thesmia near Pheneus in Arcadia. The emblem of Demeter is the poppy, a bright and red flower which grows among the barley.

Demeter as an earth and Underworld goddess:

Apart from being an agricultural goddess, she was worshipped as an Earth goddess. Melaina, known as Black Demeter in the Arcadia Demeter, was represented as a snake that has hair with a horse's head and holding a dolphin & a dove to symbolize her power over the Underworld, the air, & the water. Her cult was connected to Despoina, which is a very old Chthonic divinity. She also shares the function of death & fertility with Persephone. Demeter was worshipped as Anesidora in the cult of Phlya. Anesidora was the one who sent gifts from the Underworld.

Her name in Sparta was Demeter-Chthonia (chthonic Demeter). According to Pausanias, it was Hermione from whom her cult was introduced and there she was associated with Hades. There is a hollow in the earth through which souls can pass easily and enter the Underworld. She was known as Demeter-Chamyne in Elis, and it refers to the goddess of the ground in an old Chthonic cult related to the descent to Hades. She was called Demeter-Europa at Levadia, and she was connected to Trophonius which refers to an old divinity of the Underworld.

The rare epithet Chalkokrotos is used by Pindar. In the mysteries of Demeter, people used Brazen musical instruments and the Great-Mother Rhea-Cybele was worshipped with cymbal music. Demeter was called Amphictyonis in central Greece at Anthele near Thermopylae which is actually a place of hot spring, and an entrance to Hades, since Demeter was considered as a Chthonic goddess in the previous local cults. In addition, she was known as ancient Amphictyony's patron goddess.

The dead were called "Demetrioi" by Athenians. It can reflect a link between Demeter & old dead cult, which is connected to the agrarian belief. As a new plant grows from buried seed, a new life can sprout from the dead body. The initiates in the mysteries of Demeter probably shared this belief. She had the epithets Erinys (fury) and Melaina (black) in Arcadia. These are connected to the myth of the rape of Demeter by Poseidon. Her character's darker side along with the connection to the dark Underworld is stressed by the epithets.

Demeter as a poppy goddess:

Karl Kerényi asserted that Poppies were related to a Cretan cult that was carried to the Eleusinian Mysteries in Classical Greece. The Minoan poppy goddess puts on the seed capsules which are the sources of narcosis in her diadem. Kerényi also said that the Great Mother Goddess, who bore both the names Rhea & Demeter, brought poppy from the Cretan cult to Eleusis.


These are the festivals held in Demeter's honor:

(1) Haloa is a term derived from halōs meaning "threshing floor." This festival started at Athens and finished at Eleusis, where a threshing floor of Triptolemus was seen. This festival took place in December, the month of Poseidon.

(2) Chloia is a festival of grain. It is held at Eleusis in the early spring in honor of the goddess of growing vegetation.

(3) Proerosia is a festival where people need to pray for an abundant harvest, before they plow the land for sowing. It was known as Proarktouria. This festival was held before Arcturus' rise and took place at Eleusis in September.

(4) Thalysia is actually a Thanksgiving festival that took place in autumn after the harvest on Kos island.

(5) The Thesmophoria is a women's festival that improves the seed grain's fruitfulness.

(6) The Skirophoria festival held in midsummer.


Homer rarely mentioned Demeter. Moreover, she was not included among the Olympian gods. However, the roots of her legend are perhaps ancient. The legend centers on Persephone's story, whom Hades carried off. Then, her mother starts finding her. During the journey of Demeter, Demeter revealed her secret rites to the people of Eleusis. They received and welcomed Demeter in a hospitality way. As her daughter was missing, Demeter was very stressed, and her attention was diverted from the harvest, causing a famine. Alongside Zeus, she had a lover named Iasion, to whom Demeter bore Plutus.

Although Demeter is commonly known as a grain goddess, her influence was extended to vegetation and to all fruits of Gaea (Earth), except the bean. Moreover, she was known as the Great Mother of the Gods. Another aspect about Demeter is that as a divinity of the Underworld, she was worshipped at Sparta. At Hermione, she was worshipped at the Chthonia festival, in which four old women sacrificed a cow.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How did Zeus get Demeter pregnant?

Demeter bore Zesus two children: the horse Areion and the goddess Despoine. Demeter mated with the King of gods in the form of intertwining serpents. Then, the goddess Persephone was born.

What is the Demeter god of?

She was the goddess of the harvest of ancient Greek. Demeter farmed plenty of their food, and that's why she was such an important goddess to the people of ancient Greece.

Who was Demeter to Hades?

According to the Greek tradition, she is the second kid of the Titans Rhea & Cronus and the sister to Hestia, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus.


Sunday, July 30, 2023

Eleusinian Mysteries

Eleusinian Mysteries

Eleusinian Mysteries were one of the initiations that held for the cult of Demeter & Persephone each year, and it is based at Eleusis's Panhellenic Sanctuary in ancient Greece. In Greek, it is called Ἐλευσίνια Μυστήρια. People consider these the most popular secret religious rites of ancient Greece. While the basis was an old agrarian cult, these were derived from the Mycenean period's religious practices.

Eleusinian Mysteries

From the Mysteries, we got to know about the myth of the abduction of Persephone, where the king of the underworld, Hades, abducted her from her mother Demeter. The myth of her abduction was represented by Mysteries in a cycle with three phases: descent (loss), search, & ascent. 

The major theme was her ascent and reunion with her mother. At the time of the Hellenic era, this one was a big festival. Later, this festival spread to Rome. You can find similar religious rites in the agricultural societies of the Near East & in Minoan Crete.

Ceremonies, rites & beliefs were kept secret which was preserved consistently from antiquity. The rebirth of Persephone was the symbol of life's eternity for the initiated. The eternity of life flows from generation to generation. They believed that they could have gifts or would be rewarded in the afterlife. Several paintings and pieces of pottery depict different Mysteries aspects. 

As the Mysteries involved visions of an afterlife, its power & longevity was believed to come from psychedelic drugs. The Mysteries is a consistent set of rites, ceremonies & experiences. While the name of the city Eleusis seems to be pre-Greek, it is probably a counterpart to Elysium & the goddess Eileithyia.

The oldest Eleusinian Mysteries of ancient Greece were celebrated yearly for at least 1000 years until 329 CE. This city is 14 miles from Athens, whereas the festival began in early September in Eleusis which was called the most mysterious of the ancient Greek world. Its multi-day rites were closely related to the myth of Persephone and her mother. They have a sacred story where they are separated and joyfully reunited that has served as catalysts for the initiates' spiritual enlightenment.

What is the Myth Behind the Eleusinian Mysteries?

The mention of Demeter, an Olympian goddess, by Homer was not often. In fact, he rarely mentioned Demeter. The roots of her story were the beliefs of early agrarian people on Mother Earth which can bring everything to life and nourish them. In the world of Greek, the notion was still vivid now. Aeschylus was one of the Greek authors whose play The Libation Bearers recaptured the notion.

As her mother was the goddess of agriculture, she with her cult, stood in the practices' centre which was related to the Earth and the Grain Mother. The Homeric Hymn talks about the high disorientation and stress that her mother experienced after the disappearance of her daughter Kore whom Hades abducted to the underworld. 

After getting distraught, Demeter stopped nurturing the natural world. That's why Zeus needed to interface and ordered Hades to release Kore. But Kore did something else that bound her to the underworld forever. Hades gave her a pomegranate seed. Once someone eats something in the underworld, they are bound to stay. Kore must now spend half of her life in the underworld with Hades. That's why she was called Persephone, especially after becoming the goddess of the dead & the wife of Hades.


If someone wanted to join the mysteries, they needed to swear a vow of secrecy. There are four categories of people who were able to join in the Eleusinian Mysteries:

  • Priests, priestesses, and hierophants 
  • Initiates who undergo the ceremony for the first time. 
  • Those who previously joined at least once — were eligible for the final category. 
  • People who previously attained épopteia (Greek: ἐποπτεία) & learned the secrets of the Demeter mysteries.


It was categorized into many offices with various tasks. There are 6 priest categories officiated in the Eleusinian Mysteries:

  • Hierophantes — an office inherited within the Eumolpidae or Phileidae families. 
  • High Priestess of Demeter or Priestess of Demeter and Kore – It refers to an office that is inherited within the Phileidae or Eumolpidae families. 
  • Dadouchos – Hence, men were seen serving as torchbearers. It was the second-highest male role after Hierophantes. 
  • Dadouchousa Priestess – a female priestess who helped the Dadouchos. It also indicates an office that was inherited within the Phileidae or Eumolpidae families. 
  • Hierophantides – It indicates two married priestesses where one was serving Demeter, and the other was serving her daughter named Persephone. 
  • Panageis ('the holy') or melissa ('bees') – refers to a group of priestesses living a life secluded from men.

The offices of Hierophant, High Priestess, and Dadouchousa priestess belonged to the Phileidae or Eumolpidae families. This Hierophant and the High Priestess had equal ranks. Impersonating the roles of Demeter and Persephone during the mysteries was the job of the High Priestess.

Rituals Before the Start of the Mysteries:

The narrator of the founding story for the Mysteries is Homeric Hymn. Disguised as a human, Demeter came to Eleusis to find her daughter. The town accepts her as a nurse. Once Demeter came there, she felt obliged because of its hospitality. After that, Demeter shares her secret rites, becoming the central theme of the Eleusinian Mysteries. However, it was not easy to initiate the rites. Participants needed to prepare for at least half of the year or more and nurture themselves spiritually so that they can embrace the secret revelation.

Before the beginning of the Mysteries in early September, the priestesses of Demeter, with her daughter, commenced, and both walked together towards the temple of the Goddess in Athens. Both carry a basket containing Demeter's sacred objects on their heads through the Sacred Way that has connected Athens to Eleusis. According to the scholars, 2-3000 initiates came to the Agora on the first day. Athenian law forbade them from disclosing the Mysteries' secrets. People disobeying these get punished with the death penalty.

The Experiences of the Initiates During the Mysteries:

As per the myth, Demeter looked for Persephone in agony for nine days. Just like this, the set of rites took 9 days to get completed during the Eleusinian Mysteries. In the first five days, several things were performed like a series of purification Eleusinian Mysteries rituals, fasting, animal sacrifices, possibly piglets & sacred offerings to Demeter. 

Grand Procession took place on day five. While the priestess of Demeter and her daughter who have carried sacred baskets on the previous day, started their walk with plenty of initiates behind them. The mass started walking from Athens to Eleusis on foot along the Sacred Way.

But the Mysteries become less clear once Demeter arrives at the sanctuary. Then, the initiates wander in the dark outside and are confused when Kore is lost. After that, they entered Telesterion, the temple of Demeter. This temple was the largest closed building in the ancient Greek world. What happened in the Eleusinian Mysteries after this is undiscovered.

Hallucinogenic Drugs & Rape as Part of the Mysteries:

It is essential to know that the temple was almost dark at this time, only some small fire pits were set in the center. People jostled there to secure a good position as the large building had massive columns obstructing their view. Then, all people were silent and experienced issues like fasting, and identified the grief of Demeter.

Kykeon was an Eleusinian Mysteries drink that the initiates were served. Although several articles say that it had hallucinogenic substances, the idea is opposed by a lot of scholars due to a lack of evidence. Some accounts from old sources indicate that Mysteries involved visual performances — these are things that were said, shown, and done in spite of the secrecy. The acts were connected to a small room within the temple Telesterion, near the fire pits. Initiates were not allowed to enter the sacred room because it was for priests & priestesses, who came out eventually to perform the secret revelation.

Even a few scholars speculate that secrets talk about a real murder or rape of a maiden, making the abduction and rape of Kore more dramatic. Her capture was a sign of her death and indicated that she was dead & had transitioned into Persephone. 

If you want to know about the view of what the initiates witnessed, you only find the people's reports where they were mentioned as being in complete shock during the Mysteries. Several initiates said that they got changed because of the experience, the result of which they did not have any fear of death. Day nine was called The Return when all walked back to Athens. The close of the festival was marked by their arrival in Athens.

What Did the Ancient Authors Think About Demeter & Eleusis?

It was the Greek poet Hesiod who wrote about Demeter in the 8th century BCE. The name of his poem is Theogony, where you can see the mention of Demeter is only in three lines. After a century, people got more information regarding the Homeric Hymn to Demeter.

Based on the account, Persephone was in a meadow and picking up iris & hyacinth blossoms. All of a sudden, Hades came out of the earth on his chariot with immortal horses and took her away against her will. It was the only time when he came out of the underworld. Her mother heard the cries of Persephone. 

But she didn't know where her daughter went. No one told her the truth, neither gods nor mortals. Then, she began her nine-day agony and continued until she reached Eleusis city. This town welcomed her as an old lady looking for Persephone, her lost daughter. However, she came out of her disguise. Then, she changed her size as Gods were bigger than their life-size. According to the instructions of Demeter, they built her a great temple, and she wanted to keep it secret. Later, she united with Persephone near Eleusis.

Sophokles, Herodotus, Aristophanes, and Plutarch, are the old writers who mention the Eleusinian Mysteries festival as they all participated there once. However, it is still an intriguing secret of ancient Greece. The reason is that initiates didn't disclose any details like what happened in the Telesterion and the inner sanctum. Therefore, scholars need to use some accounts & construct tentative hypotheses without any consensus.

Is Demeter Still Alive?

Mircea Eliade, a Romanian professor of history and religion, from the University of Chicago, wrote a book, The History of Religious Ideas, where he mentioned a cold day during the 2nd World War in February 1940. 

A bus which was full of passengers was making a journey from Athens to Corinth but experienced some problems in the middle. It stopped for an old lady who realized that she didn't carry money to pay after riding on the bus. Therefore, she was asked to leave the bus. Once she left, the engine stopped working. Later, it started when she arrived again. Then, she disappeared into the air. Many newspapers reported her as Demeter.


Eleusinian Mysteries was the most important ritual site in ancient Athens. The special thing about Eleusis is that nobody revealed the secrets though thousands of initiates took part in it for many centuries. This town was a chatty place where all seemed to have been up for discussion, dissection, polemic and comic ridicule. 

There is also a reason why all are silent. If someone speaks about the ritual, they are punishable by death. A story about the dramatist Aeschylus said that he revealed the truth in his plays about the Mysteries, because of which he was prosecuted, but later, he was found innocent.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What happened at the mysteries at Eleusis?

The set of rites took 9 days to get completed during the Eleusinian Mysteries. In the first five days, several things were performed like a series of purification rituals, fasting, animal sacrifices, possibly piglets & sacred offerings to Demeter.

Q. What are the great Eleusinian Mysteries?

The Greater Eleusinian Mysteries referred to a set of rites that are surrounded by a big festival where you can find many ties to the tale of Demeter & her daughter.

Q. What was the Eleusinian Mysteries ritual?

It was celebrated from September to October each year. In the Eleusinian Mysteries ritual, people were seen performing a ritual bath in the sea, 3 days of fasting, and it includes completion of the still-mysterious central rite.

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Rights of Nature

Rights of Nature

Rights of nature are known as Earth rights. It refers to a legal & jurisprudential theory letting us know about the inherent rights connected to ecosystems and species, like the concept of fundamental human rights. This particular concept throws a challenge to latest laws, grounded in nature's flawed frame as "resources'' that can be owned, used, and degraded.

Proponents argue that humanity is directed by the laws grounded in the Earth Rights to act correctly. Two primary lines of reasoning underpin this school of thought. First, you should know that identifying human rights relies on the philosophical belief emanated from the rights from humanity's existence. Therefore, from the own existence of the natural world, the inherent rights of the natural world arise. And the second thing is that a healthy ecosystem is essential for human living and survival. Therefore, we should keep nature's rights protected for advancing human rights and well-being. 

Earth Rights:

According to the right of nature perspective, the laws of the 20th century rely on an outmoded framework letting you learn about nature consisting of different independent parts, not parts of a bigger whole. Whereas an important criticism is that these laws have the tendency to remain subordinate to economic interests and instead of placing the right of nature to thrive, these laws keep partially mitigating economics-driven degradation as the primary goal. So, the existing environmental laws' critique is a significant component of tactics like climate change litigation that forces societal action for mitigating climate change.

As of June 2021, the rights of nature laws are available in a minimum of thirty-nine nations, including local and national levels, and many counties throughout the United States. In the early 2000s, an expansion of earth rights was seen in the form of constitutional provisions, treaty agreements, statutes, local ordinances, & court decisions. In Florida, a state constitutional provision is being sought.

What are the Rights of Nature?

It indicates the recognition & honoring the fact that Nature has rights. This recognition says that ecosystems ( trees, oceans, animals, mountains) have their rights as we have. Earth rights are about balancing the good for human beings against the goods for other species & the planet. It is actually a holistic recognition stating that every life in the ecosystem on the planet is deeply intertwined.

Instead of treating nature as property under the law, the Rights say that nature can persist and maintain its essential cycles. Human beings have the legal authority to enforce the rights on behalf of ecosystems. We can call the ecosystem the injured party with legal standing rights.

Due to indigenous cultures all over the world, it can be said that the recognition of nature's rights is coherent with their traditions of living in harmony with nature. While everything is deeply connected, every decision needs to be taken for the good of the whole.

Rights Of Nature Law:

A significant expansion of rights was seen in the early 2000s as constitutional provisions, treaty agreements, national & subnational statutes, local laws, and court decisions. As of 2022, the laws of earth rights are available in twenty-four nations, whereas in 2017, the number was 17. These laws exist in at least 7 Tribal Nations in the U.S. and Canada, and 60+ cities and counties throughout the U. S. As of 2022, 29 is the total number of nations with existing or pending rights of nature legal provisions.

Related Initiatives:

During the early 2000s, more powerful transnational rights of nature networks were developed, and it is the reason behind the huge adoption of the championed principles into law. It happens due to the close connection with other system-changing initiatives & movements for rights.

  • Developing and implementing new economic & financial models with the intention of reflecting human & Nature rights in a better way. 
  • Indigenous leadership for the welfare of the rights of people and nature, international social movements like the human right to water; 
  • Development of the practical solutions coherent with a nature's rights frame like rewilding

The "International Rights of Nature Tribunals" were set up by the nonprofit Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature to implement nature's rights laws. The civil society initiatives issue non-binding recommendations. Advocates of the rights of nature, human rights, and the rights of indigenous peoples are brought together by the tribunals into a procedure like the Permanent Peoples' Tribunals. They aim to offer formal public recognition, visibility, and voice to the people and the natural systems that are injured by alleged violations of fundamental rights.

A new area of academic research is developing where legal & other scholars have started providing strategies and analysis to drive the broader application of such laws, especially in the face of early implementation successes & challenges.

In Popular Culture:

Isaac Goeckeritz, Hal Crimmel & Valeria Berros directed the 2018 documentary Rights of Nature: A Global Movement. It lets people know about the challenges while creating new legal structures in relation to the Rights of Nature.

Joshua Boaz Pribanic and Melissa Troutman of Public Herald released a documentary film that we know as Invisible Hand about the rights of nature movement in 2020. Mark Ruffalo was the executive producer and narrator. This one won four Best Documentary Awards. While The Overstory won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, it has been on the list of bestsellers in the New York Times. The concept of earth rights was covered by The Daily Show in an episode.

What Countries Have Declared The Rights Of Nature?

Ecuador was the first nation to recognize and implement the Rights of nature in 2008. Ecuadorians mentioned these rights as the Rights of Pachamama (Mother Earth). According to the constitutional provisions, the Rights of Pachamama states that life is regenerated in Nature, or Pachamama. So, it has the right to respect for its existence, for the maintenance, for the recreation of its life cycles, structure, functions as well as evolutionary processes. Public authorities are called upon by communities, people and countries to enforce the Rights of Nature.

Global Alliance for Rights of Nature (GARN) filed the first lawsuit that will use the Rights of Nature provision in 2011 against a construction company because it was building a road across Ecuador's Vilcabamba River along with dumping rubble in the river. The Provincial Justice Court of Loua was in the river's favor. According to the reports, the construction company didn't support the rule. And the GARN was unable to afford another suit.

Whanganui ( New Zealand), Rio Altrato (Colombia), and Ganga & Yamuna (India) are the four rivers that sought and won legal rights. The case for New Zealand is unique as the Parliament confirmed The Te Awa Tupua Act. Two guardians were appointed for the river, one is the government, and another is the Maori Indigenous people.

Several cities in the United States want an ecosystem to bear legal rights. In 2010, an ordinance was passed by the City Council of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for recognition of the Earth rights as a part of the ban on shale gas drilling & fracking. The Lake Erie Bill of Rights was a municipal law providing its lake rights. This law was adopted by the city of Toledo, Ohio, in 2019.

Drewes Farms Partnership represented a farmer who filed a federal lawsuit according to which the ordinance has made the farm vulnerable to massive liability when fertilizing the fields. Later, the state of Ohio participated in the lawsuit. It was the year 2020 when a federal judge ruled that the Lake Erie Bill of Rights is totally invalid depending on the on the premise that this law was unconstitutionally vague as well as it exceeded the municipal powers. At present, the plaintiffs are trying to keep the Lake Erie Bill of Rights alive in state court.

The Canadian Magpie River's legal rights were identified by the Innu Council of Ekuanitshit and the Minganie Regional County Municipality in February 2021 despite the adoption of twin resolutions — one by Innu and the other by the municipality. This river has nine rights that the responsible guardians can represent to ensure that the rights are respected.

How Do The Earth Rights Fit In The Climate Crisis?

Within the context of the climate crisis, you can get a legal theory that is beneficial in elevating the urgent requirement of securing biodiversity in the fight against climate change. In this year, nations are ready to negotiate a global agreement stating to keep nature secure under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China. The High Ambition Coalition for Nature & human beings of over fifty nations wants to protect 30% of the Earth's land & waters by 2030 to curb biodiversity loss & greenhouse gas emissions. However, it is yet to see if human beings are able to reach the goal. You should know that a lot of tools will be needed to tackle climate change and conserve Earth's most biodiverse ecosystems.


The article has elaborated the rights of nature, called Earth rights along with mentioning the rights that nature should have and what human beings should do for the welfare of both humans & nature. The main target of the Earth rights is to protect the environment for all creatures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the concept of the Rights of Nature?

Rights of Nature is known as RoN. This legal instrument enables nature and its ecosystem and species to have inherent rights along with getting the same protection that people and corporations get. RoN states that ecosystems and species should have legal rights for existing, thriving and regenerating.

Q. What are the rights of human nature?

These refer to the rights which are inherent to us, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, etc. Human rights indicate the right to life & liberty, freedom from slavery & torture, freedom of opinion & expression, etc.

Q. Why is the right of nature important?

It allows the defense of the environment in court for the welfare of human beings and nature. Earth Rights wants to keep the environment secure for all creatures.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Moon Treaty

Moon Treaty

The United Nations has become a focal point for international cooperation in outer space due to having the power to create international law. On Outer space, the United Nations Treaties and Principles are considered as the Texts of treaties and the United Nations General Assembly has adopted the principles which govern State activities in exploration and use of outer space. The law's extension has been evolutionary, which starts with queries related to legal aspects. Then, it keeps going to the principle formulation of a legal nature and incorporates those principles in general multilateral treaties. The General Assembly adopted the Declaration of legal principles in 1963. This text indicates the genesis of the so-called "Space Law, or Moon Treaty"

The UN remains the witness to the development of five multilateral treaties, and the moon treaty is one of them. It offers many guidelines & provisions outlined in 21 articles. According to the agreement, the Moon, with its natural resources, belongs to mankind's common heritage. It states that people should use the Moon for peaceful purposes & the benefit of the whole international community. Eighteen states are parties to the Moon Treaty, seven of which have ratified the same, whereas the rest acceded. There are four states which have signed but not ratified yet.

What is the Moon Treaty?

Moon Treaty is an agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies. It is actually a multilateral treaty that can turn the jurisdiction of all celestial bodies, even the orbits around such bodies, over to the participant nations. In this way, each activity will conform to international law, including the United Nations Charter.

It was signed in New York, USA, on December 18, 1979. Later, it became effective on July 11, 1984. Languages used are English, French, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese. Any state which engages in self-launched human spaceflight has not ratified this (e.g. the United States, Russia, or the predecessor of it, the Soviet Union, or the People's Republic of China) . Eighteen states are the parties to the Treaty as of January 2022.


Once the 1967 Outer Space Treaty was signed, it was followed by the United Nations convened UNISPACE, the United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, after a year. It belonged to the first UN-sponsored conferences which wanted to generate an international law framework and offer guidance letting humans learn how to use outer space resources.

The Moon Treaty was made after ten more years of negotiations in 1979 as a law framework to create a regime of detailed processes. According to Article 11.5, an international regime has to govern the exploitation of nature, establishing the accurate processes. Therefore, several UN-sponsored conferences have occurred to define laws or the regime. But there was no consensus. The continuing disagreement depends especially on the "Common Heritage of Mankind" with the rights of each nation to the Moon's natural resources.

Moon Treaty Ratification:

In 1979, it was confirmed. Once the need for five ratifying states was satisfied, this Treaty entered into force after five years for the ratifying parties. As mentioned above, eighteen states are parties to the Treaty as of January 2019. Seven states ratified the agreement, whereas the remaining ones acceded. Four extra states have signed but not ratified yet. The L5 Society and others opposed the signing of the Treaty by the US.

National considerations:

The Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space held hearings on the Moon Treaty In the United States on July 29 and 31, 1980. It belonged to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

S. Neil Hosenball was a great supporter of this Treaty. He tried to compare it to mining rights within the US. But he couldn't convince the committee by saying that the US must ratify the agreement. His opposition was Leigh Ratiner, the leader of the L-5 Society. According to Ratiner, the Treaty was opposed to free enterprise & private property rights. So, Leigh gave a potential solution to this Treaty by proposing legal claims to the Moon, such as a system to register such claims, which need to be there.

S. Neil Hosenball is the NASA General Counsel and chief US negotiator for the Moon Treaty. COPUOS held a high-level meeting after eight years of negotiations. This meeting took place to create a consensus on a framework of laws so that outer space can be sustainably developed. But Hosenball decided that the international regime's rules should be delayed until the establishment of the exploitation's feasibility. Therefore, the meeting also failed.

The "national" Treaty allows commercial mining. But experts are having an argument about the new national laws. They ask that the laws are inconsistent with the Moon Treaty and customary international law.

Implementation agreement:

The main topic of discussion around the laws which govern the Moon is dominated by the controversy on the claims and on mining rights for profit. According to the experts, the agreement must allow commercial mining because it allows extraction after the international regulatory regime. So, it can be said that the Treaty is not complete due to the lack of an "implementation agreement" that answers unresolved problems.

Moon Treaty Objective:

Since the 1967 Outer Space Treaty was signed, technologies have evolved, and it needs a redefinition of the citizens' & governments' rights in use and development of outer space. The initially stated objective of the agreement is to offer the essential legal principles to govern the behavior of states, international organizations, individuals exploring celestial bodies other than Earth, and the administration of the resources.

It proposed that state parties can create an "international regime" which sets up the appropriate procedures (Article 11.5).

Moon Treaty Provisions:

The Moon agreement suggests setting up an "international regime" or "framework of laws" which are applicable to the Moon and other celestial bodies within the Solar System, even the orbits around or other trajectories to or around them.

It lays many provisions, which are outlined in 21 articles. This Treaty declared in Article 1 that humans should use Moon for the advantages to all states and peoples of the international community. Moon Treaty lays many provisions. We have given here a few of these below:

  • Article 3.4 bans any type of military use of weapon testing, nuclear weapons in orbit, or military bases. Military personnel's use in scientific research won't be prohibited. 
  • Article 11.5 gives a framework of laws to set up an international cooperation regime for governing the exploitation of Moon's natural resources. 
  • Article 11.7 says all parties' safe use of natural lunar resources in the benefits derived from the resources. 
  • Article 11 says that the placement of equipment or personnel on or below the surface will be unable to create a right of ownership.
  • Article 6 says that the freedom of scientific research & exploration must be present. 
  • Article 6.2 says that samples received during research should be made available to all nations for research. 
  • According to Article 7.3, if any area draws special attention or interest in scientific research, it will be designated as an international scientific preserve. 
  • Article 5.3 says that it will say the United Nations and the public of any phenomena which could become a big risk for human life or health. 
  • Article 14 says state parties need to ensure that non-governmental entities under their jurisdiction will involve in activities on the Moon only under the authority. 
  • Article 5 says each party must inform the United Nations & the public regarding the activities concerned with the exploration and use of the Moon.


The Moon Treaty 1979 has both some benefits and some drawbacks. Considering them both, making a few major changes before binding this on parties & non-parties with the ratification of major space-faring powers is necessary. In this way, the UN needs to review its current provisions & incorporate the essential changes along with giving an improved clarification of the existing clauses. Once exploitation of the additional territorial resources becomes feasible economically & technically, the agreement's test will be possible as a treaty and a customary law.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Has India signed the Moon Treaty?

The answer to this question is in the Moon agreement of 1979, which was brought in the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). Yes, India signed the agreement governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies. However, it never ratified this.

Q. What countries signed the Moon Agreement?

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs says that France, Guatemala, India, and Romania have signed the Treaty.

Q. What is the Moon Treaty in India?

The Legal Subcommittee considered as well as elaborated the agreement and elaborated from 1972 to 1979. Then, the General Assembly adopted this in 1979 in resolution 34/68.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Ghost Army - History Mystery

Ghost Army - History Mystery

The Ghost Army, also called 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, was a United States Army tactical deception unit during World War II. This unit consists of 1100 men and its mission was to deceive and mislead Hitler's forces. It was activated on January 20, 1944. Later in May, it arrived in Europe shortly before D-Day. When the war ended, it went back to the United States in July 1945. It carried out over twenty deception campaigns during its tenure, putting on a "travelling road show” and used inflatable tanks, sound trucks, fake radio transmissions, scripts and pretence. Until the misclassification in 1996, they kept their story a secret after the war for over fifty years. Unit members got Congressional Gold Medal in February 2022 for their top-quality distinguished service.

History And Deployment of Ghost Army:

Ralph Ingersoll and Billy Harris, the army planners of the United States, created the Ghost Army. While the unit's leader was Colonel Harry L. Leeder, the British units inspired the unit. It also had been honed the deception technique for Operation Bertram by these units at the end of 1942 during the El Alamein battle.

The Ghost Army was formed completely at Camp Pine, New York (now Fort Drum) before sailing for the UK in May 1944. And, it had its barracks at Camp Forrest, Tennessee. Their location was near Stratford upon Avon in Britain. Troops joined Operation Fortitude.

After fourteen days of D-Day, a few troops went to Normandy. Once they reached there, they simulated a Mulberry harbour at night with lights. Their plan was to draw German artillery from the actual ones. Later, all the members of the unit helped to tie up the German defenders of Brest. So, they stimulated a very large force.

Allied armies moved east. Therefore, the unit also did this and was based in Luxembourg. The unit engaged from this place in deceptions of the Ruhr river crossings, located along the Maginot Line, Hürtgen Forest. At last, they crossed the Rhine with the intention of drawing German soldiers away from the actual sites.


The intention was to give encouragement to the Ghost troops so that they could mislead, deceive, & befuddle the German Army by using their talent. Several soldiers were from advertising agencies, art schools, & other occupations which have encouraged soldiers with creative thinking. The unit's members had been actors, artists, architects, set designers, engineers and lawyers in civilian life.

While the team had only 1,100 soldiers, the contingent used equipment like dummy tanks & artillery, fake aircraft, and giant speakers. With the help of these speakers, they broadcasted artillery & men's sounds so that Germans thought it was a two-division 30,000-man force. This unit comprised 603rd Camouflage Engineers, 406th Combat Engineers to handle security, the 3132 Signal Service Company Special, and the Signal Company Special.

What Are The Tactics Used By The Ghost Army Unit?

Visual deception:

This arm was the 603rd Camouflage Engineers. There were inflatable tanks, cannons, jeeps, trucks, and aeroplanes. After that, they camouflage imperfectly to let the enemy aerial reconnaissance see them. They were able to make dummy airfields, motor pools, artillery batteries, troop bivouacs, and tank formations in some hours.

The unit had several men who were artists by profession. They were recruited from New York and Philadelphia art schools. Ghost Army was like an incubator for young artists, and they were the ones who sketched & painted their route through Europe. Many of them went on so that they could have a major impact on art in the postwar US. A few names of artists who served in the 603rd were Bill Blass, Ellsworth Kelly, wildlife artist Arthur Singer, and Art Kane.

Sonic deception:

It was handled by the 3132 Signal Service Company Special. The team from 3132 was aided by engineers from Bell Labs. Then, it moved to Fort Knox for recording the sounds of armoured & infantry units onto the sound effects records which they brought to Europe. For every deception, they needed to mix sounds with the scenario in that way the enemy could believe. State-of-the-art wire recorders were used to record the program. After that, it was played back using strong amplifiers & speakers. In that case, you need to know that a state-of-the-art wire recorder is a predecessor to the tape recorder. It was possible to hear sounds 15 miles (24 km) away.

Radio deception:

We know this as"Spoof radio" that the Signal Company handled. It was the Special Operators who created traffic nets to impersonate their operators from real units. Every Morse Code operator follows an individual sending style. The operators of the Signal Company copied the style of a departed operator to prevent the enemy from detecting the actual unit.


With the intention of complementing existing techniques, Ghost Army employed theatrical effects to supplement deceptions. It is known collectively as "atmosphere."

The Ghost Army of WWII Congressional Gold Medal Act:

The Ghost Army Legacy Project campaigned for 6.5 years to make the unit famous when Rick Beyer was the leader through four Congressional terms. He was also the producer and director of The Ghost Army 2013 PBS documentary.

On May 18, 2021, the voting was done by the House of Representatives to pass H.R. 707. There were seventy-one co-sponsors in the Senate bill, S. 1404. The 67th Senate co-sponsor was Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV).

The Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the full U.S. The Senate, passed S. 1404, called the Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal Act, on the evening of December 15, 2021, after a unanimous vote by the Senate Banking for passage. Whereas, the House of Representatives passed S. 1404 on January 19, 2022. The law: S. 1404, the Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal Act, was signed by President Biden on Tuesday, February 1, 2022. It awarded the unit a Congressional Gold Medal for exceptional service in conducting European deception operations during World War II.

Representative Kuster and Senators Markey, Portman, Collins, and Blumenthal even appreciated President Biden's leadership. The effort of the Ghost Army of WWII Congressional Gold Medal got support from the American Legion, the National World War II Museum, the American Veterans Center, the National D-Day Memorial Foundation, and so on.


In this article, we have covered everything that you should know about the ghost army which was created by the United States. Still if you have any doubts or queries, do ask us via comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a ghost in the army?

It indicates the army soldiers whose names are seen on military rolls but not in military service. Q. What are the Famous members of the Ghost Army?

The names of the popular members are:

  • Mickey McKane. 
  • Fred Fox. 
  • John Jarvie. 
  • Bill Blass. 
  • Ned Harris.
  • Arthur Singer
  • Jack Masey. 
  • Bill Sayles.

Q. How did the Ghost Army start?

It was created by the U.S. Army in January 1944.