You can read about the past Lion Hunt festivals here (2010), here (2011), and here (2012). Those of you who are familiar with the Ekklesía Antínoou know that this is a day to take stock of our failures, and this day itself has been filled with them…
Off the top of my head, ones today have included:
–not spelling the word “and” correctly in the above section of this entry!
–spilling a full cup of water after I walked out of class this morning
–not getting this post written until now–I had hoped to do it this morning, but some of my internet browsing was severely inhibited in its speed for unknown reasons, and I ran out of time before class
–in class itself, it wasn’t a failure as such, but I didn’t get nearly as far as I had hoped; and, because a student who has been chronically absent showed up today, I gave him the only handout that remained, rather than giving it to the more attendant student, who nonetheless wasn’t there for the last class when they were distributed anyway…
–not contacted several people I had intended to…
–…or accomplished a great many other tasks I had hoped to have done by now.
As the old saying goes: “If ‘if’s and ‘but’s were candies and nuts, we’d all have a lovely Lion Hunt.”
(That saying isn’t old, and doesn’t even exist, but there you go…par for the course for the day.)
I hope to do the usual Lion Hunt ritual, which then gets continued tomorrow, with the candles and so forth, but I won’t get to that until tonight…I won’t be getting back home until later than usual, which I take as simply another effect of the day. I will experience, and have already experienced, a great deal many other failures, but I won’t experience a failure to actually do that ritual tonight no matter what…
On the bus this morning, I listened to Empire Brass’ version of “Hopper Dance,” which I just tried to find a video or some other online recording of that I could share with you…and, again, failure (at least in the U.S.). Aargh!
And, in class today, I was reading bits of the (possibly Gnostic) Gospel of Thomas to the class, and happened to recite by complete and utter chance logion 7 of that text, which reads:
Jesus said, “Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by man; and cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, and the lion becomes man.”
Rather cryptic to be certain, and yet there may be something in it…
But, apart from talking about the spiritual implications of everyday things on this day (as that is where spirituality also does and can take place), there is the larger matter of assessment of one’s own failures throughout the past year…and my litany of them this year is HUGE, and all the more prominent to me in comparison to some previous years. What I plan to do in the remainder of the present entry is to list some of the failures I’ve had, as I see them–not to dwell on them, but instead to simply bring them to mind as fully and publicly as possible.
NOTE: When doing everyday ritual things, people don’t say “Well, you need not do that prayer to that deity on this day,” or “You shouldn’t really be holding the candle like that,” or various other things…or, at least they don’t usually do that! What I am doing here in enumerating these failures as I perceive them is taking stock of myself. If you choose to respond to or comment on the present blog entry, say and do all that you might wish, EXCEPT anything amounting to “That’s not really a failure” or “Don’t feel so bad about…” or “No one cares that such-and-such happend.” The point of doing this isn’t that anyone else cares, the point is that I CARE, and it is a failure to me and in my view, which I am speaking aloud/writing publicly on here because I feel it is something that I would like Antinous’ and the other gods’ help on, and it is all done so with the hopes that tomorrow, when these failures and minor deaths become triumphs and resurrections, they will be fertile fodder and a rich mulch and a potent alluvial mud in which lotuses of all colors (but especially red!) might take root and flourish. So, keep that in mind, please…
What have I failed to do, particularly in relation to my devotional life with Antinous and the other gods?
1) I have failed to come up with a ritual dance for Quinquatrus, yet again.
2) I have failed to join my friends and co-religionists in the Seattle area as frequently as I had hoped, including this very occasion today when they will be having a Lion Hunt ritual. (And, the logistical difficulties in getting there and back, while some might excuse them, are still a failure on my part to overcome–if anything is important enough, something can be done about it, and I have not been as strong in my efforts to overcome it in this case, nor as clever in my insights into how to overcome it as I often have been in other similar situations.)
3) I have failed to get the next Tetrad++ book out…and, in general, am far behind where I’d like to be with many devotional writing or publishing projects, including submitting things to anthologies, getting things written and available myself for the Red Lotus Library, and working harder on at least two different anthology editing projects.
4) I have failed to creat the votive stele for Pachrates of Heliopolis that I have known I need to make in order to work further with him; and I’ve known this needs to be made since just before Foundation Day of 2011.
5) I have failed to dedicate a piece of jewelry properly to the gods that I wear constantly, and was advised to dedicate and purify for them as soon as possible as of last February.
6) I have failed to properly and fully establish an ancestor practice that it up to the scale of the involvement which I have with many other gods.
7) I have failed to spend money on devotional projects, objects, and other such things as sensibly or as devotedly as I should.
8) I have failed in trusting the gods enough on far too many occasions to actually ask for help directly in prayer for many things which are not going well in my life, even though I know they want to help me and have even asked me to ask them for help on these things (!?!).
9) I have failed to take my body and my health as seriously as I should, both given my own health conditions, and given the difficulties that I have been experiencing financially and so forth which make getting the proper care problematic to obtain; and, I have not taken the matter of exercising as a component of spiritual practice as seriously as I have, for example, taken the matter of writing poetry as a spiritual practice, tending to prefer supplementing the latter for the former–and even though the latter is appreciated by the gods and by others, the former is probably just as important to be paying attention to.
And, as there are usually nine candles lit for this day for various failures, I shall leave my list of my own personal failures at nine for the moment.
As I am finishing this list, I just got an e-mail notification that the water in the building where my office is has just been turned back on; it went off yesterday, and was expected to continue to be off for the next few days, but apparently all is back to normal now…Never underestimate how the cleansing power of admitting one’s failures can restore proper irrigation to any system!
I will be back after I’ve had some non-vending-machine-originating food for lunch to write a poem for this occasion, which is taking shape (and has been over the last few hours) even as I type this…but meanwhile:
May Antinous the Liberator free us from the encumbrances of our failures;
May Antinous the Navigators show us the way to achieve triumphs;
May Antinous the Lover accept us even in the depths of our grievous errors.
Ave Ave Antinoe–Haec est unde vita venit!