Sunday, February 28, 2010

Down There

As I mentioned, earlier this week Laurelei and I went to go see a production of The Vagina Monologues. Part of the interview process that Eve (such a perfect name for her!) Ensler used was to ask women "What would your vagina wear? What would its theme song be? What would your vagina say?" The actresses in the play had answered these questions in the liner notes of the program. And so, today I do a little lower-than-navel gazing and ask myself the three questions.

What would your vagina wear?

A coral pink pashimina shawl, ballet flats, and gray pearls.

What would your vagina's theme song be?

Something by Stevie Nicks, of course. Maybe Landslide, maybe Wild Heart, or Rooms on Fire. It depends on her mood.

What would your vagina say?

She would just laugh -- long, and musically, and uninhibited.

!({})!

Ten

Laurelei's daughter just celebrated her tenth birthday. Milestones like that are cause for reflection in everyone's lives, and it made me think about when I was ten years old. Specifically, it called to mind my first ever forays into Paganism.

When I was in fourth grade I was crazy about mythology. The library at school had gorgeous hardback copies of D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths and D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths. I checked them out in rotation each week. I attempted to memorize every page. Every story, every illustration, every family tree. My first thoughts on comparative religion came from wondering why the punishments of Prometheus and Loki seemed so similar.

I was dazzled by the remarkable illustrations. There was Echindna nursing the young monsters of Greek mythology, Loki transforming into countless animals, Aphrodite rising radiant from the sea. Slepnirr galloping eight-legged across the sky. Sif's golden hair, and Gaia smiling up at Uranos. I recall that I was especially fond of Hermes, that youthful God of cleverness.

I wanted desperately to be favored by the Gods as were heroines like Medea, or Ariadne. I was enamored with the Pythia of Delphi, sitting on her tripod and murmuring the future. She was Apollo's chosen voice on earth! My very first prayer, sincere in a way that only a ten-year-old girl's can be, was to Apollo. I was on the bus going to school and was watching the sun rise. I knew that I wasn't supposed to look at the sun, that I would go blind. So I prayed to the Lord of Light to take my sight and give me second sight. At ten years old I prayed to become an oracle of Apollo.

Did the prayer work? Well, I did end up needing glasses, which, combined with my odd bookish nature, made Junior High a singularly awful experience. When I was sixteen I was gifted with my first set of Tarot cards, and over the years I've become surprisingly proficient with them. Does this make me an oracle? Hardly!

So did the God hear my prayers? I am certain of it. Inspired by Medea, and a series of events that I will relate at another time, I became a Witch. Honest to goodness. I have papers of pedigree and everything. And then, only last year, the most remarkable thing happened. The Greek Gods came back into my life. In my life as a Pagan up until that point I had been neglecting them. I thought them to pedestrian for my notice. They were the Gods of my childhood, Gods that people learned about in school. I wanted exotic Deities whose names resonated with darkness, night, and deep magic.

And then Athena showed up. I was immersed in totemic owl work, and serpentine magics, and Goddess spirituality. And there she was, owl-eyed and Amazonian, and gorgon-bearing, and glorious. With her came the others. Dionysus, compelling me to run wild through the forest, wine-soaked and half-mad at festival. Hera, demanding a Goddess retreat in her name. Aphrodite, spinning my love life into new unexplored dimensions. Demeter, teaching me how to be a mother, when I had expressly denied such a place in myself existed. Soon I couldn't deny it, I had become a Hellenic Polytheist.

I purchased a copy of D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths at the used bookstore that seemed to have been waiting for me. I share it with Laurelei's children, the oldest of which just turned ten. I marvel at the circle.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Video: Sappho and the Maidens

I love this YouTube video with a mad and wild passion.





I want so much for the Midwest Hellenic Fest to have a feel like this video. I wonder if there is any danger of becoming more costume re-enactors than religious re-enactors?

Anthesteria Khytrai

Today is the final day of the Anthesterion festival. Anthesteria Khytrai -- the feast of pots -- is the day when the dead are feasted with an offering of Panspermia. What is Panspermia, you ask? Get your mind out of the gutter! It is literally all seeds, and is a type of porridge sweetened with honey and flavored with dried fruits. Here are some thoughts from the Hellenic community that I have collected concerning Panspermia.

Robert from the Hellenic_Recons Yahoo Group suggests

A meal featuring the panspermia, sweetened or not, could be the bed for vegetable medley (I think meat is not appropriate for this chthonic rite), greens and green vegetables, etc. Walter Burkert in Greek Religion, Harvard 1985, refers to the panspermia as grains of all kinds boiled in a pot with honey (p. 240, see also pp. 237-242). This would preclude legumes I would think and refers to the very ancient, simple, and delicious meal of whole grains such as the barley with sesame sweetened with honey mentioned in the Homeric epigram. How about a onion/leek dish to go with it, that would be rather sweet and accompany it well?

Whereas Thomas Day Seymour's book Life in the Homeric Age states that the same Homeric meal was

a posset... of cheese, barley meal, and honey ...mixed with Pramnian wine.

Mano Madytinou, a native of the isle of Lesbos in Greece suggests

For those who are interested in more traditional Panspermia recipes, I would recommend looking into its modern form which is still used as the 'Food of the Dead' in Orthodox countries. It's modern name is 'Koliva' and the only probable difference between the ancient and modern recipes is the modern substitution of sugar for honey.

Here in Hellas, everyone's Koliva is slightly different to others in that different people will add a different mixture of things (such as more seeds, or more nuts, or more fruits, etc) Just please be careful when preparing Koliva because it must be prepared properly, kept refrigerated and eaten fresh because of the dangers involved with the fermentation of wheat.

There is excellent information about the history of Koliva at Wikipedia.

After the festival has ended it is traditional to cry out

Thuraze Kêres, ouket' Anthestêria!

Which translates Begone Ye Spirits! The Anthesteria are done!

Kali Anthesteria!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Anthesteria Khoes

Today is the second day of the Anthesterion. Khoes, the day of the libations, marks the day that the basilissa was wedded to Dionysus. The dead were said to walk the earth on this day, and tomorrow they are feasted. Today is a merry day, however, and people dressed themselves gaily, some in the disguise of the mythical personages in the suite of Dionysus, and paid a round of visits to their acquaintances. Drinking clubs met to organize drink-off matches, the winner being he who drained his cup most rapidly.

Raise a glass to Dionysus today and let gladness fill your heart.

The Vagina Monologues

Yesterday evening Laurelei and I, along with her mother and her mother's best friend went to go see a local production of The Vagina Monologues at the UU church in Indy. The show was remarkably powerful and poignant, and I am planning on being in next year's production. We were fortunate that one of the women from last year's Women's Goddess Retreat was performing in this year's production. The cast had great energy and vitality, and it made me long for my theatrical glory days.

The Vagina Monologues is presented throughout the world this time of year to raise money to end violence against women worldwide. You can learn more about this important work at vday.org.

!({})! Here is a playlist of the monologues from YouTube.

I was also deeply impressed by the work that the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis is doing, both as spiritually and socially. Laurelei used to attend UUI and she helped start a local CUUPS chapter there that is still flourishing. I am seriously considering joining the congregation. The only thing really keeping me from doing so is the thought of getting up early every Sunday morning! My spirituality is important to me, though, and surely it is important enough to wake early once a week for.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Owl 'O Clock

My desk is situated next to a pair of sliding glass doors overlooking a small copse of trees and a pond. For the last few days around four 'o clock in in afternoon I've been visited by a Short-eared owl who always chooses to perch in the same long hanging branch near the doors. I knew that raptors hunt an area on a kind of schedule, but her hunting habits are so regular as to be astonishing. As someone who is overly fond of owls, I cannot help but take her appearances as a blessing of sorts. I know not if it is Athena checking up on me, a manifestation of my totemic animal, or simply a beautiful sign of encouragement from the mutliverse.

I wonder if she will stop by again today?

Anthesteria Pithoigia

Today is the first day of the Anthesterion, a three-day festival for Dionysus. This day celebrates the opening of the new jars of wine. Celebrate with a glass, and don't forget to make your libations. You may choose to recite one of the two Homeric Hymns to Dionysus. [1] [2] I'll be attending a theater production later today to celebrate.

What is the Anthesteria? [from Hellenion's Temenos]

The
Anthesteria is a three-day festival that literally means Festival of Flowers, it celebrates the Spring, the dead and new wine. At the beginning of the holiday, the Athenians would crown children who were three years old with wreaths of the first flowers of the year. The first day, Pithoigia (Opening the Jars), focused on opening new jars of wine, pouring libations to Dionysos (praying that partaking of the wine, mixed with water as the God had taught, should be beneficial and harmless) and then drinking. Children often received their own small pots of wine. The second day, Khoes (Day of Swings), was filled with drinking contests and an erotic mood. Khoes ended with the sacred marriage of Dionysos and the queen. This occurred in the (usually closed except this night) inner chamber of the temple of Dionysos in the Marshes, and the details were kept secret. Khytrai (The day of Pots) was the last day and devoted to the cult of the dead. Pots containing the traditional foods for the dead, cooked vegetables and seeds, were left out for wandering spirits. Despite leaving food for the dead, people took precautions against the dead coming too close. These precautions included chewing buckthorn, roping off temples and smearing house doors with pitch. At the end of the festival, the spirits were driven from the city.

See also Anthesteria on Wikipedia

Anthesteria, one of the four Athenian festivals in honour of Dionysus (collectively the Dionysia), was held annually for three days, the eleventh to thirteenth of the month of Anthesterion (the January/February full moon);[1] it was preceded by the Lenaia.[2] At the centre of this wine-drinking festival was the celebration of the maturing of the wine stored at the previous vintage, whose pithoi were now ceremoniously opened, and the beginning of spring. Athenians of the Classical age were aware that the festival was of great antiquity; Walter Burkert points out that the mythic reflection of this is the Attic founder-king Theseus' release of Ariadne to Dionysus,[3] but this is no longer considered a dependable sign that the festival had been celebrated in the Minoan period. Since the festival was celebrated by Athens and all the Ionian cities, it is assumed that it must have preceded the Ionian migration of the late eleventh or early tenth century BC.

The three days of the feast were called Pithoigia (after πίθοι "storage jars"), Choës (χοαί "libations"; Modern Greek: χοές) and Chytroi (χύτροι "pots").

During the feast, social order was interrupted or inverted, the slaves being allowed to participate, uniting the household in ancient fashion. The Anthesteria also have aspects of a festival of the dead who freely roamed the city, comparable to the Roman Feast of the Lemures, the expulsion of ancestral ghosts: compare All Souls' Night and carnival. Either the Keres (Κῆρες) or the Carians (Κᾶρες) were entertained, and expelled from the city after the festival, symbolizing either the souls of the dead or the aboriginal inhabitants of Attica. A Greek proverb, employed of those who pestered for continued favours, ran "Out of doors, Keres! It is no longer Anthesteria". [4}]

Power Song

In The Way of the Shaman Michael Harner discusses moving into altered states of conciousness through the use of rhythmic sound, (drums, rattles) dance,and singing. He briefly discusses the shamanic power song, which is a song the shaman sings to draw his/her spirit helpers close during trance. Below is a power song I have written for myself.


Rise, gray-feathered woman
Rise, shining-eyed night bird

Hwut! Hwut!
Answer my call

Rise, silent flyer
Rise, she of sharp talons

Hwut! Hwut!
Come unto me

Rise hook-beaked sister
Rise, great-eyed wisdom keeper

Hwut! Hwut!
I sing for you

Monday, February 22, 2010

Homeric Hymn to Athena

Homeric Hymn #28

Eis Athênan

To Athena


Pallad' Athênaiên, kudrên theon, archom' aeidein

I begin to sing of Pallas Athena, the glorious goddess,


glaukôpin, polumêtin, ameilichon êtor echousan,

bright-eyed, inventive, unbending of heart,


parthenon aidoiên, erusiptolin, alkêessan,

pure virgin, saviour of cities, courageous,


Tritogenê, tên autos egeinato mêtieta Zeus

Tritogeneia. From his awful head wise Zeus


semnês ek kephalês, polemêia teuche' echousan,

himself bare her arrayed in warlike arms


chrusea, pamphanoônta: sebas d' eche pantas horôntas

of flashing gold, and awe seized all the gods as they gazed.


athanatous: hê de prosthen Dios aigiochoio

But Athena sprang quickly from the immortal head and stood before Zeus who holds the aegis,


essumenôs ôrousen ap' athanatoio karênou,

shaking a sharp spear:


seisas' oxun akonta: megas d' elelizet' Olumpos

great Olympos began to reel horribly


deinon hupo brimês glaukôpidos: amphi de gaia

at the might of the grey-eyed goddess, and earth round about


smerdaleon iachêsen: ekinêthê d' ara pontos,

cried fearfully, and the sea was moved and tossed with dark waves,


kumasi porphureoisi kukômenos: ekchuto d' halmê

while foam burst forth suddenly:


exapinês: stêsen d' Huperionos aglaos huios

the bright Son of Hyperion stopped


hippous ôkupodas dêron chronon, eisote kourê

his swift-footed horses a long while, until the maiden


heilet' ap' athanatôn ômôn theoeikela teuchê

stripped the heavenly armour from her immortal shoulders,


Pallas Athênaiê: gêthêse de mêtieta Zeus.

Pallas Athena. And wise Zeus was glad.


kai su men houtô chaire, Dios tekos aigiochoio:

Hail to you, daughter of Zeus who holds the aigis!


autar egô kai seio kai allês mnêsom' aoidês.

Now I will remember you and another song as well.

Syncretism and Hard Polytheism

Anat
Let me be very clear, I am a hard polytheist. I always have been. I can not recall a time in my life when I did not believe in multiple Gods that are independent of one another. One of my major gripes with Gardnerian Wicca is the belief in the so-called Dryghton, which effectively reduces the religion down to monotheism.

That being said, I've come to a place during my research for my book where I've begun to accept that the Gods may manifest themselves under different names to different cultures. The example that is foremost in my mind is that of Athena, Neith, and Anat. Another well-documented parallel is that of Aphrodite and Inanna.

The Greeks believed in syncretism, but I am having trouble seeing how this fits with a hard polytheist world view. Part of me (the researcher) sees Athena as a facet of a very ancient Indo-European owl-and-serpent Goddess, one that shows up in other cultures as very different Goddesses. Lilith is one example. The other (hard polytheist) part of me looks at Lilith and Athena and recognizes that they are extremely different entities.

Should syncretism have a place in my spirituality? How much room does Hellenismos allow for this kind of middling academic polytheism?

On Sallustius and Virtue

 Sallustius wrote:
Those who make the world are Zeus, Poseidon, and Hephaestus; those who animate it are Demeter, Hera and Artemis; those who harmonize it are Apollo, Aphrodite, and Hermes; those who watch over it are Hestia, Athena, and Ares.
These are not the assignments I would have given these powers myself, but I trust that Sallustius knows more about the subject than I do. Especially interesting to me is the grouping of those who watch: Hestia, Athena, and Ares.

Athena is my dearest Goddess. After Athena there is no Deity I admire more than Hestia. Sure, I am closer to Dionysus, Aphrodite, and Hermes, but Hestia has more than her earned place of first reverence in my heart. I aspire to be like Hestia: gracious, contemplative, and as eternal in spirit as the flame. So it is interesting to me to see Ares in this triad.

I wonder who Ares is beyond the scant myths that exist of him. I wonder what names he bears beyond the epitaphs we are familiar with. I wonder if Ares would speak to me as do Athena, Hera, and Hermes?

I recognize that of the Hellenic virtues of temperance, prudence, fortitude, and righteousness I am sorely lacking in fortitude. I avoid conflict when conflict is necessary, even when I care about the matter at hand. I struggle to follow through on my commitments. My mind is strong, but my will is weak. Could my estranged relationship with Ares be the key to finding my inner strength?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Discovering Ares

Earlier today I posed the question
"How should I cultivate a relationship with a God who is so alien to my own spirit?"
I put this question out to the multiverse, and it gave me a clear answer. Almost 12 hours exactly from when I wrote the entry, a young man posted the Homeric Hymn to Ares on the same forum I was doling out advice on earlier. Allow me to quote a portion of it.
"Restrain also the keen fury of my heart which provokes me to tread the ways of blood-curdling strife. Rather, O blessed one, give you me boldness to abide within the harmless laws of peace, avoiding strife and hatred and the violent fiends of death."
Ares, then, is not just the Lord of War. He is also the giver of restraint. That shows wisdom that any lover of Athena can appreciate. I believe I'll go light a stick of incense for Ares and attempt to make my peace with him.

Athena Shrine Photos

These are from our old apartment. We have new-and-improved shrines at our new residence. I'll try to get some new photos up shortly.

The shrine features an iron Spartan Cyclic-influenced statue of Athena from Basil Street Galleries which I like because it displays Athena with wings, her owl and a crescent moon, all of which are older symbols of this Goddess. At her feet is a hand-sculpted Gorgon head that I made to honor her Aegis and her relationship to the dark serpentine energy of Medusa. To the right is a goblet filled with red roses, owl feathers and prayer scrolls filled with hymns to Athena. I hope to replace the roses with olive branches eventually. Also to the right is an owl's skull, which was a gift from a dear friend. Behind that is a large holed stone. At her feet is a bronze oil lamp embossed with owls that I picked up at the Nashville Parthenon gift shop. The lamp is lit with prayers to Hestia and is filled with olive oil. Beside it is a small skein of undyed wool -- as Athena is the weaver's Goddess -- and an ancient silver tetradrachm which depicts Athena's profile on one side and her little owl on the reverse, a gift from Laurelei. To the icon's is a black-feathered replica of an Athene Noctua owl, the owl depicted on her coins. I like the symbolism of the black feathers, as Athena has some very dark (almost chthonic) roots. Behind everything is a painting of Athena I did in acrylics.

Kaboodle: Hellenic Recon Editon

I have a habit that is common to most westerners. I like stuff. Below is a list of things I've magpied from various places on the internet that I'd buy if I had the capital. Of special interest is the section on cloth. I want to have a nice and extensive collection of khitons and himations for use at festival. That also explains the big blingy safety pins which I plan to transform into fibulae. ;)

Stick Weaving

I've been wanting to take up fiber arts for Athena for a while now. I've learned how to hand spin using a top-whirl drop spindle via some excellent tutorials online.

There is a wonderful fiber arts store very near to where I live. But I've no idea of what to do with the yarn once I've spun it. Sadly, I'm all thumbs when it comes to knitting. I'm sure I'll try it again, but the results thus far have been less than encouraging.

I've been wanting to try my hand at weaving, but the initial investment is prohibitive, especially considering I might not enjoy it once I start. I'm going to purchase a lap loom soon, just to give it a good try, but I've recently been taken in by the concept of stick weaving. It's cheap, it's easy, and the resulting product would look great belted around a khiton at festival!

Esty carries weaving sticks for $5.00. I'll be making an order soon.

Respecting all of the Olympians


Over at the Hellenismos.us, forum where I post actively (Yes, yes, I know. But it really is a thoughtful, dedicated, and well-meaning group of folks), a teenage girl was venting her frustration about having a poor opinion of Aphrodite and Zeus. Because of this, she is struggling with honoring the entire Dodecatheon. I answered her struggle as follows.
I've had this problem also with Poseidon and Ares. I solved it by making a special effort to learn as much as I could about each of them and by honoring them for a month each as if they were my "favorites". This meant really looking at their myths, their epitaphs, and their spheres of influence, and making daily offerings to them.

Eventually I found things about them both that I respected and eventually even loved. For example, Poseidon is the Lord of the Sea and I visit St. Augustine, FL every year -- I love it there and plan to live there someday -- to enjoy the ocean. Now when I think of Poseidon I think of how much joy I get from watching the waves break along the coast.

In cases like Aphrodite and Zeus you are dealing with two entities that each have A LOT of things attributed to them beyond just the immediate interpretation that you'd get from most myths. To quote Laurelei, Aphrodite is not a "bimbo". In addition to being the personification of love, beauty, grace, and sensuality she was also a war goddess, (Aphrodite Area) the Lady of the tombs (Aphrodite Epitymbria), the star Goddess (Aphrodite Asteria), the dove of peace (Aphrodite Eirene), the dark Goddess (Aphrodite Melaina/Skotia), the averter of unlawful desires (Aphrodite Apostrophia), and the lover of laughter (Aphrodite Philomedes). She is thought to be an imported variant of the mighty Sumerian queen of heaven, Inanna. Those who reduce her to a simpering maid with no head for battle *cough* Homer *cough* do her a great disservice.

I'm waxing rather long on Aphrodite. I'll admit that I'm partial to her. My lovely Laurelei literally wrote the book on the revival of her worship: http://www.asteriabooks.com/catalog/aphrodites-priestess.html

I know that Zeus is painted in the myths as a philander at best and a rapist at worst. To those raised in an Abrahamic faith he can seem like little more than a judgmental sky-father. But he is more, also. He is the God of freedom (Zeus Elutherios) the great councilor (Zeus Euboulos), the divine child (Zeus Hersos) who saved his siblings and fathered the Gods you hold most dear, the God of rejoicing (Zeus Kharmon), the God of the people (Zeus Laoites), the God who was fufilled (Teleios) by his marriage to Hera (Zeus Heraios). Rather than solely the distant airy Lord of storms, He was an earthly God (Zeus Khthonios) who roamed groves of white poplar (Zeus Leucaeus) and forests of dark oak (Zeus Scotitas). He could be raging (Zeus Labrandeus) and wolfish (Zeus Lykaios) or gentle (Zeus Meilichios) and friendly (Zeus Philios). Zeus is the Theos Agathus, literally the Good God.

My advice to you is to learn all that you can of these Gods and then, with a humble heart and an open mind, ask them how they can best fit into your life. You are not courting them to gain the acceptance of the "in crowd". You are asking them to share their many blessings with you in your life. These blessings extend far beyond simply "love" from Aphrodite or "rulership" from Zeus. Open your mind and heart to the Olympians and they will receive you gladly.

Mind you, this is still an ongoing process, learning about the Gods, honoring them, and developing good relationships with each of them. I still struggle with Ares from time to time. I am a non-confrontational creature by nature. I see little good in war or conflict. It is hard for me to honor the "Destroyer of Men", the "Bloody", "Violent", "Terrible" "Skin-piercing" "Murderer". So, my personal understanding of Ares has come through other means. He is called "the one who the women feast", "the bountiful" and "the one who rallies". Ares (his name is literally war) can never be completely separated from the concept of battle, but I have come to accept that the conflict he brings is useful. I see him as a Kali sort of figure, one who destroys that creation may happen. He is also someone who it is useful to have on my side, as I am no warrior.

Also remember, it is not important to have excellent relationships with all of the Gods. It is only necessary to not disrespect them or neglect honoring them.
I'm reposting this information here as, despite my rationalizations to the contrary, I'm still having personal internal conflict with Ares. There are many who would state that as long as I'm following proper piety and orthopraxy it doesn't matter if I dislike Ares. I myself rationalized that "it is not important to have excellent relationships with all of the Gods. It is only necessary to not disrespect them or neglect honoring them." But in truth I am too much of a mystic to really believe that. Personal relationships with the Gods is what brought me to Hellenismos in the first place. To have a lack of respect for one of the major Gods of the pantheon bothers me. I find myself even looking to Zeus's example for permission to dislike Ares so. Zeus himself claimed that he hated Ares.

'To me you are the most hateful of all the gods who hold Olympus. Forever quarreling is dear to your heart, wars and battles." - Homer, Iliad 5.699
I addition of murder, savagery, cowardice, war, strife, blood, and mutilation, Ares is also associated with human sacrifice. He is the rival of Hephaestus, who I hold very dear, and is openly despised by my dearest Athena. Were it not for Aphrodite's relationship with him I believe I would cut my losses and discount him altogether. Yet, she loves the war-hungry God for reasons I don't completely understand.

I would not speak ill of Ares, mind you. I have a grudging respect for him as a God, if nothing else, and I am not one to be impious. But he vexes me. How should I cultivate a relationship with a God who is so alien to my own spirit?

Neokoroi Questionnaire

I just submitted my application for joining the Neokoroi Yahoo Group. They had an excellent and thoughtful membership questionnaire that I thought I would share some of my responses to here.

* Are you a Hellenic polytheist? If not, how would you describe your religious path? How long have you been practicing?

I do consider myself to be a Hellenic Polytheist. I've been practicing as such for about a year and have just started looking into social outlets such as online groups in the last two months.

* Are you a hard polytheist (believe in the distinct and individual reality of the many gods)? Why or why not?

Yes, I am a hard polytheist, and always have been. My major gripe with Gardnerian Wicca is the belief in the so-called Dryghton, which effectively reduces the religion down to monotheism. The Gods are separate entities in my experience.

* Do you belong to any other Hellenic organizations (online or in real life)? Which one(s)?

I am a member of the Yahoo Groups Hellenic_Recons (Robert Clark's group), hellenion-mw (Midwest Hellenions), Hellenismos_Mysticism, Olympianism, Thiasos_Aphrodite (founded by Laurelei), and ThiasosAthena. I am also very active on the Hellenismos.us boards, which I understand may not make me many friends! ;) However, I've always found Tim to be very civil and helpful in his own sandbox.

* How do you feel about mysticism? Do you believe in direct contact with the gods?

I am a hardcore mystic. I don't understand how anyone can be a Hellenic Polytheist without accepting mysticism as part and parcel of the system. UPG has been the guiding factor that has lead me to Hellenic Reconstructionism, and it informs my practice at least as much as Homer and Hesiod do.

* Do you plan on participating in discussions, or mostly lurking?

That really depends on the discussion! I hope to take an active role in the list, as I have heard excellent things about it. I may lurk initially until I get my bearings.

* Are you interested in doing things in "real life", e.g. building public shrines, getting together (even casually) with other Hellenic pagans in your area, participating in group festivals, etc.?

Laurelei and I are working on organizing the first ever Midwest Hellenic Festival, set for 2011. We are big believers in getting real life shrines and temples set up, and sponsoring activities for the community to meet. For example, we are planning a pilgrimage to the Nashville Parthenon in April and hope to motivate many midwestern Hellenes to meet us there!

* How did you hear about Neokoroi?

I found out about you from Laurelei. She has been impressed with how active and inclusive your forum is and recommended it to me.

Quiz: What Muse am I?

Your result for The A-Muse-ing Test...

Your muse is Calliope!

30% Calliope, 0% Thalia, 0% Urania, 20% Clio, 0% Erato, 30% Euterpe, 20% Melpomene, 0% Polyhymnia and 0% Terpsichore!

Calliope is the oldest and wisest of the muses. She is called "The One of Beautiful Speech." Calliope is the muse of epic or heroic poetry and may have been the very one that inspired Homer when he wrote the Illiad and the Odyessy.


Allow Calliope to inspire you.


Begin by trying out different rhyme schemes, to see what you like best. Find a safe comfortable place to work where you will not be disturbed. Bring a candle, some paper, and pens or pencils. Ask Calliope to come and sit with you for a while. Then light your candle for your fire of inspiration. Relax and let your mind go. Put your pen to the paper and just let things go. You may be surprised to see what you come up with as you allow your inner thoughts to take form on paper.


Don't be discouraged if it doesn't come easily the first time. Sometimes the best things come with persistence and patience.


Take The A-Muse-ing Test at HelloQuizzy

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Theogamia

I sing now of cloud-gathering Zeus and his love for his radiant sister, Hera of the white arms.
Zeus, newborn and glorious, smiled at the great cow-eyed Hera.
Mighty Hera donned the girdle of shapely Aphrodite and claimed the child for her own to wed.
So, from the wrath of Kronos fled Hera and Zeus.
From the safe arms of Rhea they flew to the palace of Okeanos,
Delighting in each other.
Embracing.
Mighty Zeus clasped Hera's slender waist and she became Teleia.
Such was their love that they kept to their marriage bed for three-hundred years.
Hera bathed each day at Kanathos, renewing her virginity to Zeus's delight.
They emerged from their honeymoon to a grand wedding feast.
Gaia offered forth the golden orchard of evening to Hera, beloved of Zeus.
The Gods rejoiced as lovely Hera took her place on the golden throne beside thundering Zeus.
Resplendent Hera, heavy with child, was named Queen of the Gods.
White armed Goddess, may I find fulfillment of my heart's desire as you find when you lay with mighty Zeus.
Hail to you radiant wife of Zeus!
May I ever sing of your glory, and the glory of your progeny.
Now I will remember you and another song as well.

For Grandmother

Life is constant change
erosion-decay-wearing-away
yet heals all things regardless
I know
the Maiden-Mother-Crone
told me so
In Her great spirit
we All are One
so we three
cannot be undone
by this
sickness-cancer-affliction
this is my prediction
in your pain
matriarch-grandmother-Goddess
may you bear less
as we shall help you
carry the load
though you grow
wise-fragile-old
you shall be made anew
and we two will still be
One with You

WGR 2009 Guided Meditation: Inanna's Descent

Relax yourself and be comfortable.
You are going on a great journey soon.
This journey will lead to initiation and wisdom.
This journey will lead to the underworld and your dark secret self.
Breathe in deeply and feel yourself being gently lifted upward.
Exhale fully and feel yourself sink down deeply, melting into your self.
Breathe in again, rising not so high this time.
And exhale, sinking deeper into the watery darkness of unconsciousness.
Breathe in, barely treading the waters of your mind.
And exhale, diving deep, relaxing fully into the dark.

You see a dazzling starry light, and focusing, you realize that it is a brilliant crown of stars.
You place the crown upon your head, accepting that you are the queen of this domain.
Invisible hands fasten a necklace of beads that shine like a rainbow around your throat.
Your arms glitter with intricate gold bracelets, each carved with a story about your life.
You realize you are wearing a robe of pure white silk that shines like the moon and flows like a river around you.
Your feet are girt with sandals of the softest leather and you move through the world like a gentle wind.
Around your waist is fastened a golden girdle which makes you irresistible to all you see you.
The sweet perfume of honey and myrrh rises from your skin.
Your eyes are painted with kohl and crushed gemstones.
Your garments are sequined with galaxies.
In your hand is your holy weapon of power.

Now armed and and adorned you are ready for your journey.
Westward you travel, to the land where the sun sets.
You approach the dark gates of the underworld.
You knock on the gate, calling out to the gatekeeper.
"Open the gates to the underworld!"
The gatekeeper answers:
"Who seeks to enter the gates of the underworld?"
"I, The Queen of Heaven seek to enter the underworld!"
"Why do you travel to the land from where none may return?"
"I travel to visit my sister and my secret self that I may know wisdom!"
"Then come, Queen of Heaven, and enter."
The gates of the underworld open to you and you pass through them.

As you move through the gates your weapon of power disappears from your hand.
You can feel your inner strength fading away.
"What is this?" you ask.
You are told, "Quiet! The ways of the underworld are perfect and must not be questioned!"

You see a second gate which opens to you as you approach it.
As you pass through the second gates your golden girdle disappears from your waist.
You can sense your inner beauty fading away.
"What is this?" you ask.
You are told, "Quiet! The ways of the underworld are perfect and must not be questioned!"

You see a third gate which opens to you as you approach it.
As you pass through the third gates your soft sandals disappear from your feet.
You can feel your power of swift movement fading away.
"What is this?" you ask.
You are told, "Quiet! The ways of the underworld are perfect and must not be questioned!"

You see a forth gate which opens to you as you approach it.
As you pass through the forth gates your moonlit robes disappear from your body.
You can feel your power of queenly grace fading away.
"What is this?" you ask.
You are told, "Quiet! The ways of the underworld are perfect and must not be questioned!"

You see a fifth gate which opens to you as you approach it.
As you pass through the fifth gates your golden bracelets disappear from your arms.
You can feel the memories of your life fading away.
"What is this?" you ask.
You are told, "Quiet! The ways of the underworld are perfect and must not be questioned!"

You see a sixth gate which opens to you as you approach it.
As you pass through the sixth gates your rainbow necklace disappears from your neck.
You can feel your radiant life force fading away.
"What is this?" you ask.
You are told, "Quiet! The ways of the underworld are perfect and must not be questioned!"

You see a seventh gate which opens to you as you approach it.
As you pass through the seventh gates your starry crown disappears from your head.
You can see the light around you fading away.
"What is this?" you ask.
You are told, "Quiet! The ways of the underworld are perfect and must not be questioned!"

Naked and bowed low you enter the throne room of your secret self.
Your eyes adjust to the dim gloom of the sacred chamber.
You can see rows of judges gathered around the throne.
The judges fix their dark eyes upon you.
They fasten upon you the baleful eye of death.
They speak the word of wrath.
They utter the cry of guilt.
You fall dead at their feet.

Now from the dark throne rises a shadowy figure.
She moves slowly toward your limp corpse.
She bends down over you and strokes your hair.
For only a moment you can see her face.
It is like your own.
She leans down further and places her lips near your ear.
Listen now for her whisper of wisdom.
...

The shadow queen rises from your corpse slowly and walks to her throne lamenting,
"Oh! Oh! My insides!"
You feel a tinge of sympathy for her pain.
"Oh! Oh! My outsides!" She cries.
You long to soothe her.
The shadow queen reaches behind her throne and retrieves a jar.
Bending over your corpse she pours water from the jar onto you.
It is the water of life.

You can feel the life rushing back into your body.
Warmth and light envelop you.
Sense returns to your limbs.
Sight returns to your eyes.
You breathe deeply, breathing in light and life.
You rise standing from the earth.
You look your dark sister in the eye and hold her cold hand.
You embrace her.

As you turn to leave the dark chamber the judges call to you.
"Wait!" they call out. "No one may return from the underworld unmarked."
You reach out your open palms to them.
They place in your hands the sacred mark.
A great rush of wind blows you backwards and upwards.
You can feel your powers returning to you.

Your starry crown reappears on your brow and light shines forth from you.
Your rainbow necklace reappears at your throat and the joy of life fills you.
Your golden bracelets reappear on your arms and you remember your beautiful life.
Your silken robes reappear around you and you can feel your grace returning.
Your soft sandals reappear on your feet and you can feel yourself in control of your movement.
Your golden girdle reappears at your waist and your inner beauty is restored.
Your weapon of power reappears in your hand and you are filled with inner strength.

You stand outside of the gates of the underworld.
You look to the east and see the rising sun.
Breathe it in and rise.
Rise back from unconsciousness.
Rise back to this world.
Rise back into your body.
Awaken, and bring the words of your secret self with you.

Written for the 2009 Women's Goddess Retreat

Sketch Diary

For the retreat we had the inspired idea to hand out custom printed blank books with our schedule printed in the front rather than typical event brochures. This gave everyone at the retreat a place to journal.

I loved my journal so much that I've nearly filled it up already. What I really liked about it was the fact that it was a truly blank book -- no lines, no margins. I can sketch or doodle when I feel like it and journal as much or as little as I please.

I've been using two different colors of Pilot G2 gel pens so I can switch colors from entry to entry. That way I know exactly where one entry ends and another begins, but I don't take up extra space in my journal.

Tonight I bought a cheap 70 page 11"x 9" sketch diary at Meijer. I plan to use this as my next writing journal. It's big, cheap, and unlined so I can fill it with whatever my mind spews forth without worrying so much about quality. I can just write freely.

Fancy journals are lovely and make me feel special, but they also carry the unspoken notion that they must be filled with only my deepest and most sacred insights. I don't need to call down a holy book with my morning pages. I just need to practice the act of writing!

Reposted from LiveJournal Sep. 25th, 2009

Compost Poem

I was once bananas for bananas
I ate them everyday
Relishing in their forgiving texture
and sweet flesh

Deep inside something turned
and the time of bananas ended

Now I compost
Turn over the refuse of my mind
Hoping something edible will flower from it

I miss the taste of bananas
So I throw their peels into the pile

Deep inside something turns
widdershins, inward
turning over the compost heap

After the process of heat and decay
I can see that it is not nourishment from bananas I crave
It is the rich black soul soil of reflection

Reposted from LiveJournal Sep. 23rd, 2009

Meditation on writing

Laura & I often read books aloud to each other, taking turns with each chapter and discussing how the work inspires us. Currently we are reading Writing Down the Bones, which has prompted us to write more and to start a writer's group.

I've been trying to journal daily in my hard copy journal, and I've finally got some good stuff cropping up there. Here's an entry I'm transcribing from this morning.



What business do I have writing? I am no writer.

I am a thinker, a dreamer, and artist who forgot to paint, a hack designer. I am no writer, just someone who writes. A writer can shit out books that are more colorful than your best dreams. A writer can find the hidden thread of wisdom that binds us all to one great mysterious story. A writer teaches us about ourselves by telling a story that is really a mirror or a lost artifact -- some piece of ourselves lost long ago. I am no writer.

A writer can write about anything; can bullshit her way through articles on closet curtains and the top ten ways to bring your soul back to life. I have knowledge, sure, but I am no writer.

A writer has finished a book, has published it, and has had people buy it and read it. I can write for two pages and my words freeze up. I am no writer.

Am I?

I recall essays written in middle school, in college, always about art and always with high praise, high marks. Write what you know.

I remember articles written for our camp newsletter and how easily the words would come come to me describing complex bits of occultism. I recall the book I am working on, how Athena's words flowed through me into my laptop computer, flowery and evocative.

"But I didn't write that" I protest. Those were the words of a Goddess moving me to record them. Just as I do not write the words here, rather I free them from this page where they already exist with the scratching of my pen. I am no writer.

The value of my words is for myself alone. There is no grace in it. No holy wisdom to impart. No eternal story song that I sing like a bard of old. Only empty reflections and musings on my imperfect mind, its wheeling cogs, its steam-driven sighs. I am no writer.

I am a hack journalist of my own life, a chronicler of emotions, shades, moods. An artist in chiaroscuro. An artist who forgot to paint. Who writes instead. But I am no writer.

Reposted from LiveJournal Sep. 23rd, 2009

Veves and the Goetia

Found a fascinating article online today comparing some lesser-known veves with sigils from the key of Solomon. I knew that Moses was supposed to be "the great voodoo man of the Bible" (his marriage to Zipporah seems to be the supporting argument in voudon for this widespread belief) and that the 6th & 7th books of Moses are common source material in voudon, and that the Kabbalah also had a firm influence on the delevlopment of vodoun cosmology, but I was unaware of the connection to Goetia until today. Does anyone know more about how Solomonic magick influenced vodoun? I realize that yellow triangles are often used in Hoodoo (specifically on Tobies) for binding and protection. Could this be another symbol grafted in from the Goetia? Here is the article:
http://www.frateralastor.com/veve.htm


Reposted from LiveJournal Jun. 29th, 2006

Best month EV-AR

April has been kind to me. I began the month being initiated into the bestest, funnest, mostest awesome Witchcraft order in the area, continued by trekking up to Chicago for my O.T.O. Minerval (which, aside from an incredible theatrical performance of Liber Al, was underwhelming, but I'll be taking MUTS later this year to make up for it) got a job at the local New Age/Occult store part-time, moved right along into Anita's totally kick-ass Aztec watermelon frenzy ritual (perhaps the most moving ritual I've ever witnessed) and left the next day with Lynn and C. for the indesribably goregeous St. Augustine Florida. Go look at our sqwee-worthy Florida photos! While in FL, I experienced many of the things FL tourists everywhere crave: seeing an alligator in the wild, splashing around on the beach in the middle of the night, spying a manatee, climbling a lighthouse, going on a ghost tour, noshing on the best key lime pie on earth, and, yes, GOING TO DISNEY WORLD! *sqwees in ways that make me indistinguishable from a piggy* We went to Epcot. It was awesome. The photos are in the link above. Also, on the trip, we stopped off at the Georgia Renn Faire (again, totally friggin' awesome) and the Museum Replicas store in Conyers, GA. But, best of all, while in FL, I got my 3rd degree G. initiation. I am purple beyond purple with glee. Beltane is coming up next (camping at the annual festival at Our Haven Nature Sanctuary) and the Babalon Rising Festival is getting better every day (I cannot encourage you enough to check out the website. The festival is looking stupid-good thus far.) I am in a place of complete joy and contentment with my life right now. What more can I say? Those Cakes of Light sure did the trick!

Reposted from LiveJournal Apr. 24th, 2006

LiveJournal interests meme

LiveJournal interests meme
  1. bipolar disorder:
    I've had this since at least puberty, possibly longer. I inherited it from my father, who inherited it from his father. Hereditary madness is just one more reason I'm childfree.
  2. cunning folk:
    People who "witch" away warts and carry blasting rods around facsinate me. It doesn't hurt that several members of my family fall into this rather broad category or folk-magick practitioners, or that I secretly long for a little thatch-roofed cottage where I can brood and blast.
  3. english ballads:
    If you want me to swoon you need only recite "Thomas the Rhymer". If you want me to love you forever you should try "Tam Lin". If you want me to forsake all others for you alone "Lord Randal" will do the trick. Warm and fuzzy feelings will also be engendered by "Greensleeves", "The Twa Sisters", "Fair Janet", "Three Corbies" and anything found in Bartlett J. Whiting's collection. (dreamly hums a few haunting bars of 'Lord Randal')
  4. herbal tea:
    Celestial Seasonings, thou art like unto a God in my pantheon. Thine Bengal Spice and Apple Cranberry zinger uplift me. Thine Sleepytime and Tension tamer, they comfort me. Surely I shall find peace in a cup of warm tisane, and shall dwell in thine house forever.
  5. lucifer:
    Once upon a time was an 11 year old girl who loved Greek Mythology so much she fancied herself a Pagan. She prayed daily to old Gods, and worried about the condition of her soul. One morning a man made of solid gold walked through the window of her second-story bedroom and had a long and interesting talk with her that she will not elaborate on here. When she was quite a bit older she read a book titled "Aradia, Gospel of the Witches" and finally realized who she had met so many years ago. She devoted herself to this God immediately, and has kept his rituals to the best of her ability ever since.
  6. otherkin:
    Some people have totem animals. Some people think they *were* their totem animals. Some people think they still *are* their totem animals. I fall somewhere between the latter two categories. Hoot.
  7. reiki:
    Magick without tears. It feels good, you get to share it with anyone who wants it, and you can't screw it up. Reiki is fun, and useful, and kitty-friendly.
  8. severus snape:
    My not-so-secret crush. Alan Rickman, you will be mine.
  9. tantra:
    Sex is fun. So is magick. Let's do both! Seriously, sex magick is a great joy for me, and tantra seems to the pinnacle of all that sex magick can be. Have you ever had your crown chakra blown open during orgasam? Nuff said.
  10. voudon:
    Experiential Gods with awesome imagery. Le Bawon is a much-loved friend of mine. The Lwa live and breathe, and give and receive in a way that many other Godforms don't. I also totally dig voudon cosmology.
Reposted from LiveJournal Feb. 3rd, 2006

Thelemic Woes

Spent last night visiting Anita for class night. We discussed Thelemic dieties/godforms. I've been thinking about Thelema alot as I prepare for Minerval, assist in building the Babalon Rising festival, and help to start a local camp body. I've noticed that I've got alot of animosity towards two aspects of Thelema.

Primarily, I have come to perceive my "belief system" (for lack of a better term) to be composed of three distinct parts: a "religious" system, a "magical" system, and a "philosophical" system.

Religiously I'm a Pagan. I talk to Gods, Gods talk to me. I try not to ask too many question of how this happened, and would rather dance naked with wild abandon around a bonfire than chat over coffee about Gods as archetypes, egregores, thoughtforms, or whatever. I can be snippy and defensive when it comes to the subject of my patron, and other occultists my find my beliefs to resemble schizophrenia. Oh well.

Magically I'm a Witch. I like rustic tools, herbal elixirs, black cats, strange chants, and ritual by candlelight. I think Strega is cool. I think Robert Cochrane was a genius. I love my ratty old walking staff. I am a whore for good ritual. Other occultists think I'm a little daffy, and I recognize that I'll often overlook good scholarship in favor of magical value.

Philosopically, I'm a Thelemite. I may not understand your path, but if it's working for you, good. Keep your opinions out of my way and I'll try not to step on yours. The sandbox is big enough for both of us. You're divine and so am I. Do what thou Wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Yup. Works for me.

So, I get my panties in a wad when I start to feel like because I'm playing in one paradigm means that I should automatically be playing in another. Life might be easier if I was a sheeple-Wiccan who bowed to the authority of every self-proclaimed Queen dripping in amber and jet. It's certainly assumed that because I'm religiously Pagan-identified and magically Witchcraft-identified that I must be philosophically Wiccan-identified. But I ain't.

And when chatting with (some) Thelemites over religion, my internal compass screams "Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. Over!" as Crowley tells me from beyond the grave that these are not gods, but concepts: Nuit = Infinity, Nox = nothingness, Chaos = chaos, Pan = All-things, Babalon = the unknowable as anima... it's enough to make a Pagan's head spin. Sheesh. I've spoken with Nyx and Pan, and they think all of this conceptual stuff is hilarious. As for magic, well, Thelemites give good ritual. I'm looking forward to Minerval like a kid looks forward to Christmas, so I don't mind working the system.

A Thelemite will tell you that the Gods are what you make of them. Crowlianity says that the gods are what Crowley says they are at whatever stage of his life you may be reading from. So I guess it's the Crowleyites that I have the big grumble with. Geeze I wish these people had another prophet. Anyway.

Gripe #2: Crowley doesn't know shit about the mysteries of the cup and the paten. He at least recognizes this, and there is hope that eventually a lady with a firm grasp of ritual will come along and clean some things up. Primarily the nauseating amount of phallus worship involved in the magical system, and the recognition that women magicians, no matter how much we rock, are not automatically "beyond the veil" with ultimate understanding of the supernal triad. Crowley didn't understand women. He didn't understand them to such a ridiculous degree that he thought women would make a great magical symbol for that which is unknowable. Excuse me while I climb off of this pedestal before I fall and break my unknowable little neck.

Reposted from LiveJournal Jan. 28th, 2006

Musical Meme

Describe yourself using one band or and song titles from that band (answer only in song TITLES by that band!)

Band: Stevie Nicks (well, duh!)

Are you male or female:: Bella Donna
Describe yourself:: Nightbird
How do some people feel about you:: Sweet Girl
How do you feel about yourself:: Enchanted
Describe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend:: Whole Lotta Trouble
Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend:: Destiny
Describe where you want to be:: Everywhere
Describe what you want to be:: Sorcerer
Describe how you live:: Gypsy
Describe how you love:: Wild Heart
Share a few words of wisdom: Love Changes

Reposted from LiveJournal Jan. 15th, 2006

Myrtle Beach Memories

So, as you could probably guess, Myrtle Beach was fun fun fun. Joe & I camped right on the beach. Every morning we'd start the day by running down to the waves, and we'd end each night splashing around while fireworks went off overhead. Tres romantic. :) We stayed at a wonderful "luxury campground" (oxymoron, I know) named Pirate's Land. Pirate's Land offered a private beach, golf carts, an indoor pool, jacussi, lazy river, arcade, minature golf, campsite water, showers, cable TV, a billard room, and even it's own ice cream parlor. Arrgh, 'tis a Pirate's life for me!!! (we plan to return next season) Joe even taught me how to SWIM, which is a talent I have somehow managed to survive for almost 25 years not needing.

While at Myrtle, we visted the Ripley's museum, where I scoured the collection for Fr. G.B. Gardner's pieces from the Witches' Mill. I found a corn dolly from his collection, and a lovely Malaysian kriss dagger that may well have served as one of the old goat's athames... well, I can dream, can't I? Anyway, I recorded both on film, and plan to post the photos here when I get them scanned. Furthermore, I want to visit as many of the Ripley's attractions as possible to document what remains of G.B.G's collection before 'Wicca Inc.' forgets it's heritage entirely.

For those who are planning to visit Myrtle Beach, but have never had the pleasure of doing so, I must warn you of one astonishing fact. The city of Myrtle Beach, SC consists almost entirely of Pancake Restaurants. I'm not joking. Along the same streach of road you will find The National House of Pancakes and Omlettes, the National Pancake and Omlette House, The International House of Pancakes (also serving omlettes), The House of Omlettes and Pancakes, the Pancake House (also serving omlettes), and my personal favorite... The OMEGA House of Pancakes and Omlettes. (the be all and end all of Pancake Houses, I'm sure.)

After leaving SC, Joe & I made a trip through Smokey Mountain National Park where we panned for gemstones. We found a green quartz about the size of my fist, two lovely rose quartz, two large amythests, a hefty moonstone, countless garnets and topazes, and a rough ruby about the size of a dime. We had such a nice time in the mountians that we agreed to return during the fall to see more of the sights.

BTW, after resisting temptation the entire time we were in Myrtle-land-of-Pancake-Houses, my will broke while in Pigeon Forge and I feasted upon pancakes at an IHOP.

Since our return home we've been keeping buzy. Joe's Mom has been in & out of the hospital, and we've been consumed with SCA events. (trying to get in as much as possible before Winter.) This weekend Joe & I will be camping once again at Our Haven. Tis our goodbye-to-Summer Mabon blow-out celebration, and all signs point to this being the biggest event yet. Joe & I will be vending with some friends. At least four rituals are planned (one of which -- concerning a wicker man and the song John Barleycorn -- I am writing). I will also be running my standard workshop on shapeshifting, and might teach a bit of bellydance if anyone shows interest. If you live anywhere near Indiana, please consider attending this event! We promise to make it a memorable one!

Reposted from LiveJournal Sep. 16th, 2003

The Ballad of the Night That the Mead Did Flow Too Freely

Some of you have seen this already. Hell, some of you were there. For those that weren't, this is a ballad I wrote to comemmorate the Highland Clan of Our Haven's Midsummer, midnight, mead raid of 2003. Much love out to all my homies of the Gangtsa Wiggity-Wicca-Wack tribe. You know who you are.

The Ballad of the Night That the Mead Did Flow Too Freely

CHORUS:
Mead, mead! Drink it down,
that you may wear the Holly Crown!
Mead, mead! Drink it up,
and we shall bring you another cup!


Deep in the Lowlands burned a flame
When from the hills the Highlanders came
Kilted, painted, lead by drummers
to raid the camp on this Midsummers'

CHORUS

Lead down the hill by torchman Jack
With Oak King Joe in the back
His face the visage of bloody death
His warriors flanked at right and left

CHORUS

The Triple Goddess with them stood
As they appeared from in the wood
Shannon, Brenda, and Natalie
Blessed them with the power of three

CHORUS

And three warriors, leaping as deer
had brought their drums for all to hear
Robert the Dragon, High Bard Jerry
And Graham, who all did strive to make merry

CHORUS

The Child of Promise was also there
Prince Conner of the Golden Hair
In his eyes the sacred fire shone
as he sat upon his throne

CHORUS

The Lowlanders' circle now within
the Highlanders' dance could at last begin
Jerry drummed with a passion from hell
as Brenda's sistrum sang like a bell

CHORUS

Their drumming so inflamed the heart
that Graham's wedding band did break apart
Natalie and Shannon danced and howled
and through them was the challenge called

CHORUS

The Oak King took up the Goddesses' cry
As for Her love did he ritually die
And so mighty was his dragon's fury
that soon his companions began to worry

CHORUS

The Oak King fell at the Holly King's hand
Two times today he had died for the land
He had asked for water, they had given him wine
And He wilted as the fruit on the vine

CHORUS

But the Goddesses would not leave him alone
So to Avalon they guided him home
Through the mists and into the hills
Where legend says he sleeps there still

CHORUS

And in the morning when the warriors awoke
‘twas Jerry the Bard who first spoke
"Were it not for the harshness of the Sunlight's gleam,
I would swear 'twere only a Midsummer Night's Dream!"

Reposted from LiveJournal Jul. 4th, 2003

Meme

1. Do you like the yellow or blue peeps better & is there really a difference?
The yellow Peeps are superior to the blue ones because they more closely approximate the food they are mimicking. I wouldn't eat a bright blue chicken, so why would I want to eat a bright blue marshmallow facsimile of a chicken?

2. Would you rather have a splinter under your fingernail or a papercut between your toes?
I'll take the splinter. Just reading the phrase "papercut between your toes" makes me cringe.

3. If you could heighten any of your 6 senses, which would it be & why?
Out of six sense rather than five, I'd increase the sixth (extra-sensory perception) because I have always found joy in weirding people out, and how better to do so than to read their icky little minds?

4. What's your blood type & when was the time you gave blood for your local blood drive?
I'm B-negative. Its a rare type, so I'm encouraged to give blood, but I haven't done so in a long time because of anemia.

5. If you did not give blood, what kind of STD do you have?
lolz!!! I didn't realise anemia came from teh sexii timez!

6. If you were going to eat a crayon, what color would it be?
Periwinkle Blue. I've always been fascinated with that particular crayon color.

7. what is the most painful physical injury you have ever had?
I was in a car wreck once that impacted my breastbone and bruised my heart. That was some soul-crushing hurt.

8. Do you refuse to eat blue gum in fear that it will turn your teeth blue?
Though this comes as no surprise to many of my friends, I kinda *like* being stained blue on occasion.

9. What is a goal you have for the next 20 minutes?
Make myself go to bed.

10. If you could fill a vending machine with whatever you wanted, what would it be?
I'd fill it with lavish yet heartfelt praise from people I love and admire. Then I could just drop a quarter in whenever I'm cranky and receive an instant ego-boost.

11. What is your favorite movie from the 80's?
Labyrinth

12. If had to choose between a dog that could read minds or a cat that would fetch you beers, which would you choose?
The cat. I don't like beer, but I don't much like mind-reading dogs either.

13. Which do you value more, your big toes or your thumbs?
My thumbs. They allow me to fulfill my function as a tool-wielding mammal. Besides, without thumbs how could I express my feelings about gladiatorial contestants?

14. Why is the sky blue?
Science: Shorter light waves scatter throughout the atmosphere, making the blue spectrum waves reflect off of air molecules.
Magick: Blue is the color of Chesed/Jupiter, gateway to the realms of the ether, and outer-space.
Philosophy: That which we define as sky we also define as blue, creating a blue sky in our reality.

15. What's your all time favorite cereal?
Corn Pops!

16. Would you rather enjoy a cold refreshing Coca - Cola or a Pepsi?
Ew. I dislike cola as a rule, but given only those options I'll take the Pepsi.

Reposted from MySpace blog May 26, 2007

Derby Season

Ugh. I dislike Derby Season more with each passing year in Kentuckiana. Joe & I had the good sense to abandon our Jeffersonville apartment in favor of the cabin in French Lick for Thunder Over Louisville this year. Thankfully the Our Haven Beltane festival happens concurrently with actual Derby day, giving us a convenient excuse to leave town each year before the mint-julip flavored madness sets in. (I far prefer a nice light melomel, or a woodruff-muddled rhine wine for this time of year, thank-you-very-much.) I've never been much for the slavish devotion to Old South tradition that crops up in our otherwise surprisingly liberal city during the first days of May, nor the weekend-warrior class of seersucker suited bourbon gentry that prefer to mask their spring debauchery in the form of a horse race rather than a more frank, sexual, and pagan form.
Each year at this time I like to read the reflections of a certain native Louisvillian on his experiences at the Derby. Hunter S. Thompson's "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved" was his first ever article written in the "Gonzo" style he would go on to make legendary. For me Thompson's article validates my choice to seek tradition for this hallowed weekend in a deeper way than the near-Roman vomitorium spectacle of the Churchill Downs infield. Dance around a maypole, race around a track. The rose garlands are all the same. The libations will flow as freely. A winner is crowned. Spring is triumphant.

Reposted from MySpace blog April 28, 2008

LOL Cat Rede

Teh LOLcat Rede
1. We're in ur perfek luv and trust, bidin ur rede like we must.
2. Dat fud urs, dis fud mine; keep in mind, an all be fine.
3. 3 times round that sirkl pass so evul spiruts CAN NOT HAS.
4. Kittehs wind up spell in ball by speekin it in wurds of LOL.
5. Sofft of paw and grate big ears; do not yowl and u shall heers!
6. Rightpaw round teh biggening moon, kittehs sing teh Witchc@t Roon.
7. Leftpaw round teh smalling moon, kittehs sing teh baneful tune.
8. Lady can has moon of new; kittehs hed-bash her times two.
9. When can has moon full enuf, then can has all sorts of stuff!
10. When North wind come, kitteh, take care! Srsly, iz cold out ther.
11. When South wind to kitteh sing, lov will come an smooches bring.
12. When teh West wind blow the mosts, iz no rest for kitteh ghosts.
13. When teh East wind stir teh air, fill teh bowlz wit fud to share.
14. In metal bukkit, put nine woodz; burn fast or slo, jus burnz em goodz!
15. Teh Elder is teh Lady's tree. Be respektin it. Srsly.
16. When teh Year-Wheel starts to spin, lite Beltane fire FTW!
17. When Wheel iz turned and Yule is bornz, bow to Teh Ceiling Cat With Hornz.
18. Be respektin leafs and trees, and by teh Lady blessed beez!
19. Ur stone. U fling it. Strong and deft. (In streem, to find out WTF.)
20. When u has need of something moar, avoid kitteh who yowlz "NOT YOURS!"
21. Foolish cat iz foolish. U avoid him, or look foolish too.
22. Oh hai! I'ze purrin. Kthxbai! Warm kitteh heart, bright kitteh eye.
23. Teh Three-Fold Law: respekt it, pliz, cuz good or bad comez back in threez.
24. Misforchun? You has it, just a bit? Mai bloo star. Let me show you it.
25. Dis kitteh r mine, and I'z theyrs too. Keep this srsly 4 troo.
26. Teh Wiccan Rede can has wurds eight: kitteh harm none, do thy will. Thx! Grate!

The LOLcat Rede is copyright Elise Matthesen 2008; elise@lioness.net.

Verses for Ereshkegal

Ereshkegal watches, and wonders, and waits
as her shining sister clears the gates
of death, of fate, of time.
"Her flesh shall be mine,"
declares the raven-haired queen
and sets about her selfish scheme.
She hones her fangs then to devour
the honeyed dew of Heaven's flower.
Greedily she rends skin from bone,
only to find it is her own.

"Oh my insides!" Cries Ereshkegal!
But her corpse hangs on a meat hook of her own design.
"Oh my outsides!" Cries Ereshkegal!
But her skin lies limp flayed by her own hands.

For the kurrjara whose words can soothe her broken soul
any gift she shall bestow.
For the galatura whose touch can mend her heart
she shall grant gifts of knowledge and art
For the shining sister that would clear the gates
Ereshkegal watches, and wonders, and waits.

Reposted from MySpace blog August 17, 2008