Ave Deae! Ave Antinoe!
So, I was going to keep my posts for the day to three, but something unexpected has occurred which I think needs a post of its own.
I was down in Edmonds (a northern suburb of Seattle) today at a regional community college workshop, when we heard that in Marysville (about 15-20 miles from where we were) there had been a shooting at the high school. (Note, the landslides earlier this year in Oso are also not far from this…and, as a totally unrelated matter, Sannion also used to live in Marysville, and in fact that’s where he lived when I first met him in person.) I have taught classes at another college in Marysville, just a few miles from the high school. That high school is the arch-rival of my own high school, and they were supposed to have had their division title game tonight in Oak Harbor, but Oak Harbor did the noble thing and forfeited to Marysville, and traveled down to Marysville to meet the team and show solidarity and respect to them. I do not have a lot of “school spirit” feelings about my high school, but when I heard about this tonight, I’ve never been more proud of my school.
From what I understand at present, the only fatality in this situation was the shooter himself; the four students he shot are in critical condition at various area hospitals, but with luck and the grace of the gods, they’ll survive. Whatever the motive and the reality (it seems that at least two of those shot were friends of the shooter), a number of young lives will be changed by this forever, and I hope the notion of complacency that we all too often have in the face of such calamities–namely that “it could never happen here”–gives absolutely everyone in the U.S. pause at this time. How are we failing to provide resources for young people in emotional distress, for whatever reasons they may be in such distress? (The shooter in this case was on the football team and was among the homecoming royalty at Marysville recently…bullying or “being an outsider” was clearly not the reality in this situation, as it has been suggested in other occurrences over the last 20 years or so.)
If there is one thing I’m certain of in my religious convictions, it’s that Antinous, Polydeukion, Memnon, and Achilles are not insensitive to these situations, and lament not only for those who are wounded or slain in these kinds of situations, but also for the losses and inadequacies these situations reveal when it comes to properly fostering young people so that they don’t perpetrate events like this. I grieve on behalf of everyone in this situation, and affirm the statements I’ve heard from various people on the matter that this is a “senseless” situation.
What is sacred is not always (and is probably actually never) safe, and thus while I hope everyone who reads this, and all of my neighbors in Washington state, have a safe and sane and sensible Sacred Nights of Antinous season, sacredness does not always abide by the customs we may prefer.
For this Festival of Osiris in the Sacred Nights of Antinous, I’d like to give you a speech Stephen Fry gave earlier this month in Wyoming at the Matthew Shepard Foundation, where he won an award.
His opening joke is one he’s told many times, for those who are avid fans of his work (as I am!), but apparently the crowd in Wyoming has never heard it. The other things he says, however, he’s rarely if ever said as clearly as this, or in this particular form, so it’s well worth everyone taking a look.
At last, the Sacred Nights of Antinous have arrived for 2014. This will be the 13th time I’ve celebrated them…how auspicious! ;)
1) Each day, I’ll be posting three images: one of Antinous appropriate for the day; one of something else specific to the festival; and a third which just seems in some way relevant or evocative for that day.
2) Each day, I’ll be posting three words to think about and meditate upon…and, for those of you who are so inclined, to use to write a poem or poems for the day that you can use in your own devotions.
3) Each day, I’ll also be posting a song that I think is in some way relevant or connected to the festival in question or the feelings suggested by it. (This is going to be a particular challenge, but I already have a few ideas.)
4) All of the above will be in a single post for the day.
5) There will be an additional post each day, on some topic that is in some way related to the festival of the given day…or, at least, it will be related in my estimation.
6) And, on Foundation Day itself, the poem that I will be writing for this holy season will also occur. (I will probably be writing it for much of that day…things in the meantime are going to be very busy with getting my home shrine prepared and a lot of other projects that are going now or will be due soon.) I won’t spoil it as far as subject matter goes just yet, but you can bet it has to do with Antinous…and, well, Foundation Day or at least “foundations” in some fashion! ;)
Does that sound good to everyone? Even if it doesn’t, that’s what I’m going to be doing! I encourage all of you who have blogs to do something similar, if you are able to–an “at least something” for each day of the festival’s nine days. You’d be surprised what even thinking about these matters for an hour each day and then producing a post can do for your state of mind and your creation of meaningful experiences for this particular set of holy days can do! ;)
On Monday night, I went with Amaranthia (a.k.a. ALVC) to a Placebo show in Seattle. I have not listened to them regularly since the early 2000s, but have enjoyed what I have heard, so I thought it would be worthwhile going…and it was GREAT!
Brian Molko said something that I’ve heard very few people say in my life: he said “Good evening ladies, gentlemen, and those of you who find yourselves somewhere between.” While not entirely within my own framework of gender possibilities, nonetheless it did much better on the matter than most people do, so that’s something to scream about (which I did!).
The whole night was fun, even despite some oddities here and there. But, what occurred to me as I was listening to their music is that some of their songs would be an excellent soundtrack for the Tetrad++, probably especially Paneros and Paneris. Brian Molko themself struck me as being rather Panerotic (!?!), although on the more “butch” end of that, if that makes any sense (which it doesn’t, even to me, but oh well…),
However, with the first line of one song in particular, I now count the following as one of my favorite songs as far as expressing my thoughts on a particular matter perfectly:
Just to clarify: no, I don’t have “too many friends,” but I’m not interested in “friends” in the BaceFook sense, which is why I’m not on that service and never will be. Given some of the discussions, both on this blog and in other fora, about how to “reach” people and become a community in the Ekklesía Antínoou, I wonder if the media have become the messages in certain respects–because the internet and interactions on it can be (though, note, aren’t always) somewhat shallow, does the fact that so much of modern Antinoan spirituality began on the internet and still takes place there determine the level of commitment and attention that it ends up receiving from people? In other words, has the fact that many people have only heard about Antinous via some blog, group, or other such online resource made their engagement with him likewise as ephemeral and short-attention-spanned as clicking some random link on a Wikipedia article while looking something else up?
It’s a large question…and far beyond what the subject line and the discussion before the video above would have suggested. But, there we go! You never know what you’ll get here, do you? ;)
I’m going to break one of my cardinal rules here…well, not really.
Whenever a particular modern religion states that “science supports this view,” it’s usually someone from a monistic viewpoint saying that physics shows that “everything is one.” They might cite some bits of Hindu philosophy or just wave their hands in general toward Taoism (due to the title of Fritjof Capra’s book), but I’ve also heard both Jews and Muslims say that their purity laws are “scientifically-proven” as well…the list goes on (and gets to much more insidious as well as spurious statements). My basic contention is that science and religion are two different areas and do two different things, and they’re best left to their own devices and shouldn’t mix too much together, lest people mistake their religious viewpoint for “how the world actually works physically” or they are left bereft of meaning because science doesn’t provide for anything that subjective (even though it kind of does, but anyway…!?!).
Well, being a bit sick of the “science proves monism” viewpoint–but that’s just really my background reality most of the time!–I recently encountered the following video, and a few related to it. I’m interested in the idea of the “holographic universe,” but not unlike the situation with syncretism, the “is” of “the universe is a hologram” has to be understood metaphorically rather than equatively. The universe’s properties bear some resemblance to how holograms work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what it is in an existential sense (no matter how much fans of The Matrix might suggest otherwise).
But, the really important point for present purposes is one that Prof. Susskind points out as a “deeper law” of physics, namely, the “preservation of information,” which is to say, the maintenance of differences and distinctions down to the smallest level we can measure (i.e. Planck-length presences or absences).
[I have some of my own theories on how all of this might work together, but I'd have to get a real physicist to vet them, because I don't know as much about the details of physics as I'd like...I have all of the Antinoan and Celtic stuff to learn about, and only so many hours in the day. ;) ]
This kind of torques the whole discussion in a different direction, in the same way that Dr. Edward Butler’s work has torqued the discussion of platonism to show that “the one” doesn’t mean a monistic oneness, but instead the principle of individuality and distinctiveness…
…Which seems to be, according to Susskind, one of the deepest laws of physics as they are currently known to us.
Imagine that! ;)
A publication that I had two poems and an essay accepted for just arrived in my mailbox today.
It is Ferryman of Souls: A Devotional to Charon, edited by Galina Krasskova and published by the great folks at Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
The essay is called “‘Are You My Parents?': Charon and the Children of Nyx and Erebos,” and it examines what it turns out is something of a piece of modern quasi-scholarly UPG, namely that Charon is one of the children of Nyx and Erebos, but in reality this is nowhere to be found in ancient Greek literature that I have been able to verify. Nonetheless, it “makes sense,” and so is a useful concept to consider.
I also have two poems in the collection: “Orphic Hymn to Charon,” which is exactly what it says (!?!); and “Wading,” which is pretty much a story of “What would happen if Antinous met Charon on his way down?” (It is interesting, to say the least–or, I thought so, at any rate!)
Excellent job, all! Thank you, Galina, for doing such a fabulous job with this, and to everyone who contributed! May Charon always be remembered and praised!
Hathor, the Eye of Re, went forth into the desert
and the waste-places of the Two Lands,
for injustice had prevailed too long
among the seed of the tears of Re.
There was no inundation of the pure waters
of Nun to quell the fire of the Eye of Re,
and thus the race of humanity
would suffer without water in burning.
Thoth did not wish his beautiful city
to be destroyed, nor its priests, nor its writings,
and so he, Lord of the God-Words, sent across the Nile
snake-draped Bes to quell the fire of Hathor.
“What is is it, O Eye of Re,
that you wish to accomplish here?”
“To separate the just from the unjust
by the fires of purification.”
“Do not be so cruel with your doings,
O Hathor, the Eye of Re.”
“Do not attempt to oppose me,
O Bes of the feathered headdress.”
Bes had no words of praise nor fables
to distract the goddess from her purpose;
Bes had no didi to add to beer
to make it seem as the blood of humans.
Instead, Bes took off his breastplate
and removed his loincloth
and danced before Hathor, the Eye of Re,
a dance that Iusaas taught to Atum.
Hathor began to join in the dance,
and in her dancing, she laughed
as her father Re had laughed
when she danced for him with raised skirts.
Soon, the fires of the Eye of Re
were quelled in the inundation which flowed
from Bes and from Hathor’s joyous dancing,
as if Hapi had come earlier than expected…
And in tears of joy Hathor was inundated,
and in tears of relief Bes was inundated,
and in the inundation of the waters of Nun
and the fast flowing of the blood of humans
Hathor was drowned but did not die;
and in the intoxicating beer of Hathor
and the inundating flood of Bes
humanity was drowned but did not die.
She would wait for them when they crossed
into the Beautiful West with raiments of gold,
with ornaments of turquoise and lapis,
and sweet milk and water for their thirst.
And Horus, whose eye was healed with tears,
looked upon the dancing of Bes with Hathor
and was pleased; and Re-Harakhte
saw his child Antinous come forth at Hir-Wer.
So, today is the first-ever–at least as far as the Ekklesía Antínoou is concerned–Festival of Hathor, which occurs just a few days before the Sacred Nights of Antinous commence. As I remarked a while back, Hathor is a very important goddess to me, personally, for a variety of reasons.
While I have a small (recently-acquired) small cow image of Hathor, the image that I have had of her for the longest is the one shown below:
I obtained this image, strangely enough, at Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon, shortly before I met Sr. Krissy Fiction for lunch at a conveyor-belt sushi place that used an electric train near Powell’s in early 2008. It is one of the simplest and most beautiful (relatively mass-produced) deity-images I have, in my view, and it was a totally unexpected gift that she appeared in my life at that point, when I was least expecting her (one goes to Powell’s to GET BOOKS! not deity-images, generally–!?!), but when I was most in love with the person with whom I was in my longest-lasting relationship to date, thus it seemed appropriate that she appeared in my life just then. In fact, one of the other times when she appeared unexpectedly to me was in late 1994, in a poem I wrote, when I was heavily entrenched in what I thought was “Celtic” spirituality during the throes of my earliest relationship. Not surprisingly, neither of those relationships has lasted, but my devotion to Hathor certainly has, and for this I am most grateful.
That she has ended up being as important to my honoring of Antinous as she has been, thus, might make more sense. Though Antinous has connections to other “goddesses of love,” as does Hadrian, those goddesses have never seemed to be as present in my life as Hathor, and the particular brand of “love goddess” that she is, I think, suits my own temperament and interests to a much greater degree than the others (though I bear them no ill will or offense in suggesting such, and I do my part to honor them when I can as well in accordance with propriety and devotion).
I had hoped this inaugural festival for her would be better and more extravagant than it has turned out to be, but it is hard to get people to do anything on a Tuesday. The offerings I ordered in the mail, not only for this but for the upcoming Sacred Nights of Antinous, have not arrived yet (which is worrisome…!). I also did divination a few weeks ago to see if Hathor wanted me to acquire a new divine image of her for this inaugural festival, and I got a very straight-forward and decided “no”; I had hoped to obtain one that would be coming from rather far-away, which would suit her role as something of a “Distant Goddess” in the specifically and importantly Egyptian sense, but she didn’t seem to want that.
And, though I’m only getting around to posting this now, as the festival is ending where I’m at, and as the earlier sun of this morning and afternoon has been entirely eclipsed by wind and storms and a bit of rain now and then, I think something rather interesting did occur earlier today that was about as close as I can imagine to direct physical intervention of a deity. The shrine where the above-pictured image of Hathor stands is not far from the foot of my bed, and thus from my own feet when I sleep. I distinctly felt someone touch my left foot this morning, and it woke me up; I knew it was an Egyptian, and my first thought was “What is Set doing?” but then it dawned on me (*ahem*), it was probably Hathor instead. I don’t know if there was a late Graeco-Egyptian children’s game called “This little piggy went to Antinoöpolis,” but it seems there might be now. ;)
And, because the Goddess should have music, and I can’t think of a better song for the moment, here’s one to consider in your future playlists for her, perhaps…dear gods, this is much more relevant to Hathor in a billion ways than I had thought at first…this is only the fourth time I have heard this song, and the first time I have seen this video Crikey…
As many of you know, the Sacred Nights of Antinous begin later this week, on October 24th, and run through November 1st. Foundation Day is October 30th, our holiest and most important sacred festival.
Often, I’ve been able to celebrate this occasion in Seattle with some of the Ekklesía Antínoou’s members from the surrounding areas. This year, that’s pretty much not going to be possible, so instead I’m going to hold a festival at my house, at my home shrine, as it was meant to be used. I’d happily have anyone from Seattle and surrounding areas, however, and as they are able, who would like to come up for it do so. We’ll likely start the ritual around 6:30 PM at my house in Anacortes; write to me privately if you need directions or the address.
BUT, it is important for those of you in the Seattle area, and further afield, to still DO SOMETHING for this occasion. Get together with others if you can, as there is no better time to be doing ritual with actual human beings in the room with you than Foundation Day. And, bring any and all of your gods to join in the fun as well, because there’s nothing like a good ol’ fashioned God-Party on Foundation Day!
And, perhaps just as important as “DOING SOMETHING” is for a devoted religious practice, TELLING EVERYONE ABOUT IT is likewise essential for the building of a religious community, which is ultimately what we’re trying to do here. The Ekklesía Antínoou “tradition” isn’t one unless there are many people participating in it, sharing ideas, and discussing things together; by doing this, it is not just a tradition, it’s also a community. So, I highly encourage people to do that…not only around the matter of celebrating festivals (and especially Foundation Day), but also in general.
There are a variety of venues in which to do that (and maybe some of you who do the BaceFook ones can provide links in the comments to this post), including the Yahoo!Group for the Ekklesía Antínoou, but you can also do it here in the comments to these various entries–and in fact, it would help me a great deal if you did so. I can only give you things that are useful to you here if you let me know what would be useful; otherwise, while I do try to write things here that I think would be useful for you (and for the general reader), I’m shooting in the dark without your feedback and am mostly writing what interests me (which may not be of interest or utility to you), and lately I’ve been feeling the strain of this more acutely than usual…to the point that I’m seriously considering giving up blogging here entirely and just writing books, as well as doing my devotions to Antinous privately (outside of some activities with the Mystai and the upcoming PantheaCon).
It’s actually very painful and difficult for me to be admitting that at present, but there we are. I don’t like how things are going, and I would love for them to go better; but I am at my own wits’ end (which should tell you how small those wits are, I think!) as to how to move forward in any useful manner.
And, just so you know: I’m not begging for appreciation here, and please don’t comment below if the only thing you want to do is show your appreciation for me (because I’m not that deserving of it) or my efforts (because they’re obviously not that great, either). I actually appreciate it when people genuinely and sincerely do that, but what I’m looking to get is participation (and the lack of this is why I think my efforts have sucked and I’m not deserving of appreciation), which makes me even more appreciative of others.
I had better try and get some sleep now, as there is a lot to do today…