Posted by: aediculaantinoi | November 4, 2012

Deities, Drama, and DuQuette… (My Weekend in Seattle)

Late this afternoon/early this evening, I returned home from what will probably be my last multi-day trip for a while. I was in Seattle, visiting many different friends, attending certain lectures and performances, and having some direct and near-direct encounters with a variety of deities that I wasn’t expecting to have along the way…

On Friday, I traveled down via three buses, and arrived with relatively little difficulty (apart from traffic, which only impeded my progress for about 20 minutes) to the waiting Michael Sebastian Lvx and his partner, with whom I stayed over the weekend. We talked and hung out for a while until our scheduled dinner at a Thai vegetarian place in the U District with Stephanopotamos, the Oracle of Polydeukion, who happened to be in town over the weekend, and who had been at the King Tut exhibit not long before meeting us. Good food and conversations was had, and additional people were met in the process. Afterwards, we retired to Michael’s house, only to continue in our discussion of various topics–including Bendis and various other Thracian deities and processes–and what eventually emerged in our talk was the importance of Hekate. Some unexpected visionary images and words emerged for Michael, which then lead to a variety of matters, and a venturing out into the dark and soggy night to a nearby park, where a short ritual for Hekate was carried out in a very interesting location, underneath a bridge on a path through the park that was just on one side of a footbridge over a ravine/stream…and all to the good!

While more could have taken place that night, we were all pretty fried at that point, and soon Stephanopotamos parted ways with us, and we tried to sleep. Several hours after that, we finally succeeded in that effort…

On Saturday morning, Michael and I met up with Disirdottir for a few hours of lovely food and conversation at a Greek place in the U District. She had been on a pilgrimage recently to Ireland (well, it was four months ago…but it’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other!), which she told us all about; the link there is to Erynn Rowan Laurie’s account of the pilgrimage. Later, I caught the bus up to Capitol Hill and attended the Eleusyve Productions’ staging of Aleister Crowley’s “The Rites of Eleusis: The Rite of Sol,” with a lecture beforehand by Lon Milo DuQuette.

Of course, Lon is well-renowned throughout modern occultism, and is a regular feature at PantheaCon; my sessions (or ones I’ve attended) at PantheaCon have often been in the room next to his, and there are pretty regular outbursts of capacity audience’s laughter at these; I’ve also seen him, or heard him, in panels at PantheaCon or on T. Thorn Coyle’s podcast. I read a book by him in the last few years: Angels, Demons, & Gods of the New Millennium, which had some useful things in it (which I cited in A Serpent Path Primer), but which didn’t entirely satisfy me in the end. His lecture to the capacity crowd was to be on the Eleusinian Mysteries, and on Crowley’s “The Rites of Eleusis” in general. Lon’s lecture was enjoyable, and began with one of his songs, “I Wish I Was Krishna,” but overall, my enjoyment of the entirety was heavily moderated by my annoyance at his presentation of the material (including in his song!). There was too much of a 1:1 correspondence suggested between the myth of Osiris and Isis and the myth of Demeter and Persephone, which didn’t even go into the part of the two myths that matches the closest: i.e. the Demophoön portion of the Demeter myth. He also declared that the final mystery was a nude young girl with a “sheath” (his word, not mine) of wheat, and that one of the reasons that the mystery seemed to be so effective and life-changing to everyone who did it was that they were all high on ergot and mushrooms from the kykeon, which has more or less been entirely discounted at this stage. While I’m very happy with his declaration toward the beginning of the lecture that “Magic is drama, and drama is magical,” at the same time, so many of the historical, ritual, and mythic details were so fuzzy, embellished, or interpreted in what I’d consider a flawed and outdated manner that my enjoyment of the lecture was lessened a great deal as a result. Alas. He’s still a nice guy, I still had him autograph my book, and I respect his work greatly; but, I hope that everyone there doesn’t stop any further investigations into Eleusis and its mysteries with what Lon’s lecture said.

I honestly wish I had some photos of the performance itself, as it was quite amazing. Not unlike “The Rite of Mercury” from 2010, the music was excellent, the acting and staging wonderful, and the overall effect superb. I knew two people in the production, including a Mystes of Antinous who was in the last production as well (playing Gemini once again!). I’m very glad I went. BUT. (There’s always a “but,” isn’t there?) I had some problems with the material itself, which is entirely a result of Crowley, and not of the actors, the directors, or the writers of this rock opera. Some of the speeches were way too long. I am not (and never have been) very comfortable with the equational syncretism that so many occultists and even modern pagans have of “Set-Typhon-Satan,” and in this play, there was “Satan-Typhon” as well as “Scorpio-Apophis” (who ended up being a very intriguing character). And, Bes (spelled “Besz” for some reason…?!?) was also in this play, and had a rather odd role; he was played by a woman who did a very good job of it and looked awesome! I was also rather upset that Sol didn’t have a single line of speech nor song at all in the entirety; the actor playing him was more or less stage furniture throughout, though he did a good job with that. The directors (and, I don’t know if Crowley himself did this or not) seemed to take the view–popular from Frazer in Crowley’s own time–that the dead/dying sun was the same as Jesus, who is also of course Osiris et al., which is rather hard for me to take seriously since Sol Invictus (and various other directly solar deities) is quite different to and distinct from the vast proportion of these other deities.

The only technical or presentational difficulty I had was that some of the actors might have benefited from being mic’ed, as it was hard to hear them on their own singing over the music and other actions on the stage at some points. I did think that the portion in which each zodiac sign praised Sol was pretty amazing, as both poetry and song (in contrast to “The Rites of Mercury,” where I found that section somewhat confusing and tedious in comparison to others). It would lend itself quite well to being recycled into Antinoan praise songs, perhaps…

In any case, I thought it was great, and was glad to have seen it, and afterwards, I made my way back to the U District, I had some food, and then after a while of further discussion of various topics with Michael and his partner, I asked for a tarot reading. A number of interesting career-related matters emerged in this, but of particular relevance here was some upcoming work I need to do with ancestors, as well as the possibility that I’ll be somehow “pregnant” with something else (like the Tetrad?) in the near future as well. To clarify further on this, Michael consulted the runes, and as that entire process occurred, he said I need to get in greater touch with some chthonic “talking” deity, like perhaps Hermes. When he tried to get more clarity on this, I suspected I might know who the deity in question was: Freyr. Sure enough, the rune he pulled for that was Ing, which pretty much can only be one thing, i.e. Ingvi Freyr.

What then followed was rather unexpected for both of us: he drew three further sequences of runes, and then wrote each one into a three-line poem; he later described to me that through the entire process, Freyr was pretty much present in his field of vision as he did this. (The night before, other visionary experiences of deities occurred as well, as you may recall!) I am not entirely sure what to do with some of the results of this, but here’s the poems themselves:

Winter’s ice is melted by the Tree
Friendship is just by the Farmer’s Friend
The Stag-King gives gifts of the tongue

Days of ice lead to flowering branches
Hail falls the gifts of the Sun
The tree’s boughs offer support

By day the tree bears fruit
The sleet becomes a gift
Joy and change follow the Lord on his steed

So, nice and cryptic. The only further clarification I was able to make in this was in the third line of the first verse, which by the order of the runes concerned, it seemed to me, must be more correctly parsed as “The Stag-King’s mouth gives gifts.” And, the Stag-King here is not a Wiccan concept, it is Freyr, who fought with a stag’s horns as his weapon at Ragnarok–at least in my interpretation.

If any of you have any knowledge of Freyr, I’d be very interested in hearing anything you might have that would further my understanding on any of this. I suspect there will be a great deal of further work to do with him in the near future…If any of you have suggestions about images/statues of Freyr that you like that aren’t awful (and, unfortunately, I’ve seen a few too many of those, alas!), please also let me know…

So, that was most of my weekend. I hope to have more posts of substance for you in the coming week!


Responses

  1. No Freyr knowledge but the entire sequence has a very Springtime feeling to it.

    • Then again, Spring is a current obsession of mine so I should post that caveat.

  2. I feel compelled to mention that the poem of the reading *strongly* deals with the dichotomy/interplay between sun and ice. In other words, to be blunt, don’t ignore the possibility you need to work with Gerdh as well.

    I believe Freyr is left to fight Surt at Ragnarok with not a set of horns, but a single stag’s antler. . . due to the negotiations made by His servant Skirnir Who went to “woo” Gerdh on Freyr’s behalf. The match was made despite Skirnir’s pretty horrid botching of the job but there were harsh consequences for his ineptness. . .

    • That may be a very good idea…I don’t have any experience of her, and little knowledge of her either outside of that one narrative…

      Though, I also suspect that the runes were re-emphasizing some specific turns of phrase that Freyr used when I had a face-to-face with him (via a medium, of course!) nearly three years ago. I want to get some further feedback from that particular medium in the near future on all of this as well.

      I am not sure on the exact number of stag’s antlers that Freyr had at Ragnarok–good point, in any case. I can’t think of any other Norse deities that have much direct connection with stags, and in the context of the reading, to understand the rune that means “stag” as the “Stag-King”/Freyr made sense to me, at least…

      • Given that the medium of whom you speak happens to have channeled Gerdh to talk to me, I think you’ll be able to sort matters out; I just happened to be poked to draw your attention. ;)

        Not much is known of Her outside the tale, although Raven Kaldera has a nice retelling/expansion on it online somewhere. . .

      • Interesting!

        Yes, when the medium-in-question gets back from their travels, I’ll have to see what insights might be able to come from all of this.

  3. Friendly neighborhood medium at your service! Yes I think we should talk more… perhaps not in such a public way as here, but I am back from my many travels for the moment and would love to touch base. Besides, having little to do with any of this, I miss the hell out of you :).

    But off the top of my head, let’s see what I got…

    Winter’s ice is melted by the Tree
    Friendship is just by the Farmer’s Friend
    The Stag-King gives gifts of the tongue

    I would say, given the context you’ve been describing, it would not surprise me if this refers directly to Freyr. He is associated with antlers, and many of us who work closely with Him do think of Him/experience Him at least sometimes as a horned God. He is also quite explicitly associated with Sacred Kingship in many stories (I can quote stuff if you want, but suffice to say it is 100% appropriate for Him to be referred to as a king. Specifically, He is the king that brings peace and prosperity to the land, as opposed to war-kings who defend or win territory). He is the king of abundance, and is associated with good crops and good harvests, so “farmer’s friend” certainly works here. And as Disirsdottir noted, His wife is an ice giant. I have a different interpretation of the story of Skirnir’s wooing of Gerdh, which I’d be happy to tell you at some point but I’m short on time and won’t write it out here :).

    Days of ice lead to flowering branches
    Hail falls the gifts of the Sun
    The tree’s boughs offer support

    This does sound like Gerdh, HIs wife. Her name basically means walled garden, and popular gnosis among folks that work with Her have Her associated with spring – with Freyr’s warmth thawing Her frozen ground, with flowers blooming through ice. Freyr is also associated with good weather, and it is said places (again, I don’t have my resources in front of me right now) that when He smiled, the sun shone, and that He is associated with sunshine and good weather.

    By day the tree bears fruit
    The sleet becomes a gift
    Joy and change follow the Lord on his steed

    Freyr is also very strongly associated with horses. His priests may have kept sacred herds. If you read Hrafnkel’s Saga, it’s all about a priest of Freyr – his sacred horse was dedicated to Freyr, a servant boy rode it, and Hrafnkel felt obligated to kill the boy because he’d violated the dedicated horse. The rest of the story is the fallout of that decision. But there’s other stories about Freyr and horses as well, so this bit also fits. And of course, being a god of fertility, trees bearing fruit would fit as well. Fruits contain seeds, and seeds are His.

    I agree about the sacred relationship between ice and sun, the ice melting into the gift of nourishing water, the turning of the seasons to bring fertility as being major themes here. I think there’s lots of layers of important meaning for you in these 3 verses. I’d also recommend meditating on/learning more about Gerdh. Also looking to your own life – what is frozen? What needs thawing out? How can the frozen places be thawed in order to nourish the things you want to grow and develop? Ice holds things back, blocks movement, but the sun melts the ice and turns that which bound us into that which feeds us. There’s my initial take on it. But let’s talk more, yeah? :)

    • Indeed, we shall speak more elsewhere soon–not only about this, but about some other matters having to do with impending events early next year…

      Something I noticed about the poem that came through is that it is remarkably reminiscent of what Freyr said to be in that session we had in ’10–he was talking about finding what will un-freeze me, etc., but not melt me unnecessarily either. So, there’s a great deal here to explore yet…

      More in another context in the near future, dear friend! (I’m so glad you’re back!)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 298 other followers