Bonfire, Kindling

Rekindling my flame, my fire
Bonfires burn out too
Sorry if I’m a little snappy
Crackling in the morning
Snapping in the night

Trust me my lovely little companion
Comrade, cohort, compatriot
Little kindling eats a little something

This is the process I live by
This is the process I’ll die by
And be reborn

Rekindle my flame, my fire
Bonfires burn out too
Sorry I’m, I’m a little sappy
Sweet, saccharine sap oozing like pus
Cooked in my inferno

The Gods Do

Recently Morpheus Ravenna wrote a post about the risks of dedication to which Asa West responded with this.

I’m sure you can guess where I’m going.

Usually I don’t like to respond to stuff like this, I kinda prefer to keep my head low and do my own thing a good eighty percent of the time but West’s post was just too saccharine to leave untouched. And it is dangerous. It is dangerous to tell people that the gods cannot do anything to them unless they consent to it because it isn’t true. 

The gods do.

Last spring a ferociously terrifying storm came through my area. A storm that brought damaging winds, huge hail, torrential rain, and lightning. Trees were snapped in half and destroyed and many houses had significant damage done to them. Did the nymphs consent to their trees being destroyed? Maybe, but I highly doubt they wanted that which sustains their life to be obliterated. Did those people consent to their houses being significantly damaged? Definitely not. Zeus and Hera did what they had to, with or without our consent.

The gods can completely change our lives without our consent. Will they? Usually no, but if it were not for a particularly blue period in my life I wouldn’t have encountered Athena. I didn’t want to feel that way but I did and so now I’m here serving Her the best I can.

Looking into the past we see mountains of evidence that the gods did not and do not have to have our consent and permission to change our lives. Apollo is a bestower of Plague and Health and few desire the former. Zar spirits in Sudan possesses people against their will and these people are initiated into the Zar cultus as a result, possession takes place initially without the persons permission.

I don’t usually like to just flat-out say that someone is wrong, but dedications and oaths are not consequence free. You don’t get to wiggle out of them just because you feel like it or because you’ve decided that it isn’t “fun”. It isn’t a matter of being “close” and the gods don’t exist to make us better people. The gods exist to do. When we agree to serve them we will likely become better people in the process. We will often have to become more deliberate, more disciplined, and more tenacious in our efforts but the endgame isn’t to get you to that point. The whole of it is so that their will and their work can be done.

Your actions have consequences. Sometimes your non-actions have consequences. If you make an oath or a dedication without clear terms, you will have to face the consequences for that. The gods can do a lot, but not everything, to you without you ever asking them to. They can do even more when you dedicate yourself to them.

Maybe that makes dedication sound intimidating. Good. It is a big commitment and if it makes you think twice it means you are thinking seriously about it. Take actions deliberately and with great concern. And remember, you don’t need to dedicate yourself to a deity to worship or serve a deity. Dedication is a form of giving over to the Other.

So remember, dedication carries with it weight and consequence; the gods don’t need consent from you to change your life; your actions will always have consequences; and a dedication gives a deity even more control over your life.

The gods are

The gods do

Graveyard Visit

I walked among the gravestones, silently, alone.

No one else was in the graveyard, the sun shone bright overhead. I don’t know why I felt like I had to go, I just knew I must. To get inside I walked the perimeter of the chain link fence and slipped under as soon as I could.

What sadness, souls longing to be remembered.

There were three large standing structures that I could count, houses for the family dead. Two were abandoned and in disrepair, forgotten? No, neglected but remembered. The dead receive no honor from the Teutonic and Anglo-Saxon descendants that have made their home on this violent land. I walked along the stone, some had symbols from the Masons and the Order of the Northern Star, these were the dead that slept easiest.

Not all souls slept easy.

There was a Reverend who died at twenty-four, he is resting in the arms of his lord now. There was a gentleman who died at the age of ninety and he screams to be remembered, begs to be remembered. It was heart-breaking, what can I do to assuage his grief? Nothing, only his descendants can hope to take away his grief, his sorrow, his anguish. But they won’t,they say he has been laid to rest in the arms of the lord but little do they know that his lord has not taken away his memory of them.How will they answer him when they pass away? And who will soothe their wounds? They are sealing their fate in their negligence.Such is their choice, their life. A man of eighty is at peace in what he saw, his beloved wife is not.

I am irresistibly pulled to the left by the dead as I wander.

I come upon the graves of a Mexican family and I am overwhelmed. I cry. A grandmother, a girl lost at the age of 19, a baby lost at the age of a mere 3 days. Remembered. With candles. With flowers. With beanie babies and a Princess and the Frog Balloon. Oh how I wept, how I wept from this answer, this clue. I wept and the wind swept through the air and Helios did not bare down upon my cheeks. I wept and Hera and Athena whispered into my ears “do you understand?” and I did. I really did. So I wept. I wept for the dead who have been forgotten and ache for their kin to leave flowers upon their graves. I wept for the dead whose lives were cut short. I wept for the dead who are satisfied in their passing and are resting in the retinue of their beloved god, tears of joy.

The wind brushes against my face, my tears chilling my cheeks. Oh, how I now know and how I will always know. A final tug before I am permitted to leave. An innocent worry and I want to bring them flowers and drink.Toys and Psalms.

Oh niña don’t fret, this is not the end.

And I left.

Honesty and Dearth

I haven’t been posting a lot lately, here is why.

I’ve made it no secret that I’ve struggled with bouts of depression in the past.

This current episode has pretty much ate up most of the year 2014. I used to ask myself “when will it end?” but I’ve been seeing a psychologist who has helped me reframe things. I’ve moved from feeling pretty powerless against it to realizing that I have tools against this. I know ways to cope with the days when I feel pessimistic, lethargic, empty, and numb. I know that as much as I don’t want to, I have to go to class because if I don’t the misery will deepen. I know that as much as I don’t want to I need to do my devotions, my schoolwork. The doing-things doesn’t always work. Sometimes I have to keep myself from crying in class for no reason. Sometimes I have split-second thoughts while crossing the street wondering if I stopped would that car hit me? And for a brief second I want to see. Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying, I don’t want to die. Just on the really dark days I don’t care if I do.

And yeah, I’m kind of realizing that this will probably be something I have to struggle with my whole life and that’s okay. Sure, sometimes it makes it hard to operate from day to day, but usually I can organize myself enough to get done what I need to get done.

So, now as to why the blog has been quieter, well bluntly put, I’ve been unable to find much joy in my faith. The rites which once brought elation and wonder have turned unfulfilling. Where I once voraciously consumed information I have to force myself to slog through books. The Deipnon and Noumenia once brough elation and renewal. They now feel like mere hassles.

I may be making the mistake of being too honest here, but that’s why. The lack of energy on top of the thing which I’ve oriented my life, my dreams, my ambitions around becoming hollow makes it very hard to say anything that feels. . .meaningful.

Now make no assumption or mistake. This isn’t a prelude to me leaving Hellenism and/or Paganism. These are just the facts. I have to cope with depression. I have to use the tools at my disposal to cope with it. I will keep doing the rites and duties that I must.

I have found that a few things make me exceptionally happy, most prominently: teaching, acting, and helping others. So now I chase those and I find the greatest joy when I can intersect any of those with my faith and use them to serve the gods.

I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet but I know someday I will.

If you are struggling with depression or mental illness, I cannot stress enough the difference that a good psychologist can make. I’m not saying it is the answer for everybody, but I’m finding it immensely helpful.

Thank y’all for your patience.

2nd Annual Agon for Aphrodite

My 2nd anniversary is fast approaching, so that means another agon for Aphrodite! Submissions are due by October 24th and winners will be announce October 31st. Our anniversary is October 19th :)   You can submit any work of art, this includes essays, poetry, visual art, music, choreographed dance, or costume pieces.

The contest rules are as follows

1) All works must be ORIGINAL works of your own. Plagiarism is STRICTLY prohibited. You may not submit works of art, poetry, or essays that have been entered into any other contest, anthology, or any published-for-sale work of art or literature.

2) By submitting a work you consent to it being posted on this blog

3) You are not required to be a devotee of Aphrodite to participate, however submissions from people  may be rejected at my discretion on the following grounds A) They hold sentiments that are actively hostile to polytheism and/or B) They hold sentiments which vilify the Gods or worship thereof

4) Two winners will be chosen, one winner will be chosen by myself and the second will be chosen via divination

5) Prizes will be announced to the winners and the winners alone, however the value of said prizes will be between 20-25 dollars.

6) By making a submission you are agreeing upon your honor and word that in the event of winning you will honor Aphrodite with (at minimum) a libation in a timely and respectful manner

THE RULES FOR MYSELF:

1) I will be impartial, judging things not on my relationship to the person but rather on the quality of the work

2) I will not denigrate or refuse to post a work unless it represents a vilification or otherwise antagonistic viewpoint towards the Goddess Aphrodite

3) I will cite all works appropriately and link back to their blog if possible

4) I will not penalize those who present interpretations of Aphrodite which are different from my own

Lets start the second agon!

You can send your submissions to captainspellingerror@gmail.com

Clouds

I watched the sunrise with a cup of coffee in my hand, no one was up yet.

For the first time in what feels like forever it fell away

I sat, listening to the sounds of the early morning, Autumn tepidly making her way into the air. The sky was grey and blue. I tried taking a photo but I couldn’t get it to come out right and wondered why I felt such a need to share the image anyway because really. . .I didn’t. I don’t think most others would care when I eagerly say “look at this picture” and it is just a sky and some clouds. But there is life in this clouds and as the greyish-blue sky began to become bright and clear there was hope on the light. They’d look at me like I was crazy or silly or easily impressed.

Or maybe they wouldn’t. Maybe they’d understand what it feels like to wake up every god damn morning with a heaviness in your heart. Maybe they know what it is like to fight with yourself every day to get just out your front door. Maybe they know what it is like to mentally tear yourself down every hour of the day for every mistake you’ve ever made.

Maybe they know what it is like to finally wake up one morning and just be able to enjoy watching the clouds as the sun rises and relish it. Because you don’t know if this is a blip of light in the long night or a sign of getting better but you know it is fucking wonderful to say “this is nice” and actually mean it.

And it was. It really was.

Breathtakingly Delighted

Polytheist.com is finally live and launched!

My article is up here

And here are the other launch articles

Shines within Darkness by Michael Eldritch

Leaving Monotheism Behind by Niki Whiting

Life, Death, Now by Aine Llewellyn

Zep-Tepi by Rev.Tamara L Siuda

The New World by Julian Betowski

The Gargarean by Markos Gage

Polytheism and Metaphysics by Edward Butler

I am one with my Ancestors by Grant Guindon

Speaking of Syncretism by PSVL

This is unfathomably exciting to me. I’m amazed, breathtakingly delighted that this is happening and pleased as a pot-bellied possum to be part of such an amazing team of writers.

It seems to be becoming a motto, it is a damn good time to be a polytheist.

 

Announcement

If I see you supporting or defending Christian Day you are getting cut out of my scene. He is a horrid man who said horrid things. 

That’s all I’m saying on it. 

If you want more info, Galina Krasskova lays it on the line better than I can. She, unlike myself, can channel her anger into something coherent.