Posted by: aediculaantinoi | December 26, 2013

What’s In The Box This Dies Cista Deorum?…

…something which should indicate that for the day, it should be called Dies Cista Dearum instead! ;)

But first, I should mention the following holiday in Neos Alexandria–the Foundation of Alexandria:

This ancient Hellenstic festival occurs on 25 Tybi.

The most important day on the calendar, the day when Alexander the Great founded Alexandria. Hold a lavish feast and make offerings to all of the gods, but most especially to Agathos Daimon, the patron of the city. Since Alexander marked out the lines of the city with barley meal, use this in your offerings, scattering a handful of it to the wind so that the blessings of the gods, once concentrated on this single spot, may spread throughout all the world.

agathosdaimonpinecone

So, this is a very important day indeed, and I hope many people are able to observe it in some fashion today.

But, in the cista on this day, to keep the bad things away, is the rest of the poems I wrote that were not published, which included this and these. Let me explain.

A while back, Bibliotheca Alexandrina advertised an anthology which was to be in honor of the “Queen of Heaven,” whomever that particular goddess might be in a given culture or time period. Of course, I jumped at the chance to write some poems in honor of various queens of heaven (and one that was better than this one from a few years ago, at least!), and wanted to make sure that I included a number that may not be receiving any attention at all who could be interpreted as such.

Unfortunately, the internet had other plans, and of the twelve poems that I sent related to this, none were included in the anthology, which was just released. What?!? And, it was through no one’s fault, really, because the editor didn’t receive my e-mails; and in the shuffle of things that has occurred since August, I lost track of what permission forms I was sent by which editors of what anthologies, etc., and never followed up on the matter when I heard nothing back. This is really unfortunate, I think, because I did end up including many goddesses that no one else touched (and I suspect no one else has even heard of), which would have made the anthology that much stronger, I think.

I’m debating, perhaps, publishing a stand-alone, short volume of these poems, plus a few others (which will be written over the next few days, I suspect)…what would people think about that?

In any case, here’s all of the other ones that had not yet seen the light of day (two of the poems I submitted I had written earlier, and they were either published elsewhere or here on this blog–these two, in fact!). I hope you like them!

The Queens of Heaven

Today, I do not give praise to the Lord Yaho,
but instead to his heavenly bride, Asherah,
and her two bright virgin daughters, Astarte and Anat.

If Lord Yaho is the power in heaven,
then Asherah is the heavens themselves,
the force that moves tides and makes waves on the sea.

If Yaho is the fire across the sky in storms,
Asherah is the chariot that carries his fire,
the long-necked torch that keeps it from consuming all.

She is the seven-branched leafy tree in high places,
the pillar raised in her own honor in the temple,
she upon whom all praises are stacked and each prayer raised.

Asherah, the house of her lord and his dwelling-place,
the abode of all the gods and their eternal mother,
the goddess whose halls are a boundless tabernacle of glory.

Astarte, the maiden envied of all the divine hosts,
the wisdom that sages covet on the earth and among gods–
to her is incense burned and are holy cakes given in sacrifice.

Anat, the young woman who wields a thousand weapons,
the goddess protector of kings in Egypt and Canaan,
covered in the blood of her enemies justly slain.

Astarte and Anat, royal daughters of a regal sovereign,
Anat and Astarte, not princesses but queens–
spear and shield, forked branch and holy cake.

Asherah, Astarte, the queenly consort of gods,
Astarte, Anat, rulers over all the heavens,
Anat, Asherah, heavenly and fruitful goddesses.

*****

Bóann

The tracks of the goddess
are the wanderings of the white cow
across the night sky
and the stream of milk which remains.

On the earth, her tracks
can be seen in the flowing river
from Nechtán’s spring
when she violated its gessi.

She lost an eye, and a hand,
and a thigh as she fled the swelling
of the angry well of wisdom
before it drowned her at sea’s mouth.

But in the mounds of peace
she remains queen, consort of kings,
mother of young gods,
justice following the tracks of the goddess.

*****

Englynion for Aranrhod

The sister of Gwydion–Lleu’s mother–
as mistress commands minion
compels these englynion.

A sovereign independent
who was her son’s defendant–
tragic, her sole descendant.

She gave neither ring nor pendant–a loss,
lament of resplendent
Gwydion, the attendant
of her son’s star, ascendant.

She gave him not wife nor name,
promise of offspring nor fame
not given, thus object of game by him
who helped son against his dame.

But who contends with the moon?
An army killed with a spoon
has not been seen on the earth,
thus son’s birth was not a boon…

And who can argue with stars?
Prisons with moonlight for bars
kept Mabon hidden from sight
and in the night, moon’s shine scars.

Splendid goddess, her crowns surround the pole;
splendid goddess, abound
in blessings where your caer’s found;
hail, from heavens down to ground!

*****

Arundhati

Arundhati, Arundhati,
Jai Jai Ma! Jai Jai Ma!
Arundhati, Arundhati,
Jai Jai Ma! Jai Jai Ma!

Wife of sage, the wise Vashistha,
mind-born daughter of Brahma,
supplicator of great Shiva,
Arundhati, Jai Jai Ma!

Earthly child of Devahuti,
sister of sage Narada,
mother of a hundred children,
Arundhati, Jai Jai Ma!

Morning star and sky-bright goddess,
double star with Vashistha,
chaste and wise, was made a goddess,
Arundhati, Jai Jai Ma!

Wife of sage, and sages’ teacher,
sat at feet of Shri Rama,
gained reward for pure devotion,
Arundhati, Jai Jai Ma!

All her hundred sons were cursed
at word of Vishvamitra;
but she earned blessings of Sita,
Arundhati, Jai Jai Ma!

Sing to queen of heavens’ sages,
chaste and honored by Shiva,
Arundhati, sky’s bright goddess,
Arundhati, Jai Jai Ma!

*****

Asteria

Only one among the Titans
could contemplate the power
of the great goddess Nyx:
the wise lady, Asteria.

She was heir of night’s queen’s
stores of wisdom and awe,
in the arts of astrology
and the giving of dreams.

She taught even the gods
how to give oracles
and to prophesy by the arts
known only under Nyx’s guidance.

With Perses she gave birth
to the goddess and titan
most blessed with these gifts:
the three-formed maiden Hekate.

Bravely, she resisted Zeus
not in war, but in amorous advances;
she fled from him
in the form of a quail.

From the heavens to the earth
she came, fled the wrath
of Zeus and queen Hera
and became the isle of Delos.

She is the holy land
on which her sister Leto
gave birth to golden Apollon
and his sister, silver Artemis.

Hyperborea still gives her gifts
from its endless bright skies of day,
the first divine one to contemplate Night–
the source of all–great Asteria.

*****

Thrace’s Heavenly Queen

O Thracian Muses, may I sing
of the tribes’ goddess in the sky,
horse-loving Bendis of night’s torches,
crown of darkness, lady over clouds.

Daughter of Nyx, hunting the firmament
and turning her face to and fro
from days to weeks, and month to month,
a friend of foxes and flying crows.

Beloved in Bithynia and by the Black Sea,
mother of heroes but ever-virgin,
Kotys is your devoted daughter
and Sabazios daily sings your praises.

The thousand arrows and spear points
you have strewn across the sky are stars;
Bendis, queen of the northern skies,
may we honor you with our sacrifices!

*****

Hail to the Divine Alexander!

Hail to Agathos Daimon!

Hail to all the Queens of Heaven!

Hail to all the gods and goddesses on this day!


Responses

  1. Since you mention some email problems, I just wanted to make sure you got my reply to your Nov. 18th…

    • Yes I did–my apologies for not replying, as the busy-ness was getting quite overwhelming about then (as witnessed by the fact that I had not been able to write my review of one of the books we discussed until a few days ago…and, I still have more reviews to write, and two more books for review to read!).

      Thank you for your very useful thoughts and comments therein! I was just given another of Kingsley’s books for the gift-giving occasion yesterday, so perhaps in the coming months I’ll have a chance to examine the “part 2″ of his discussion.

      • No apologies necessary at all. I just wanted to make sure that my reply hadn’t failed to arrive, as I have had sufficient experience myself of the unexpected fickleness email can exhibit.

        I still haven’t gotten around to reassessing Kingsley myself, but after our exchange and another concerning Parmenides on Twitter I was moved to reread Patricia Curd’s Legacy of Parmenides, and was even more impressed by its importance than I was on my first reading. Approaching Parmenides as Curd (and, substantially, Mourelatos before her) does, namely as a “predicational” rather than a “numerical” monist, is not only an indispensable part of the broader project of recovering the genuine sense of ancient philosophers’ talk of “unity”, but also restores Parmenides to us as a serious and interesting philosopher, something that Kingsley’s Parmenides-as-shaman, however interesting it might be from an historical viewpoint, really has no hope of doing.

        In any case, I shall be interested to hear your own further thoughts on Kingsley, and in the meantime, best wishes for the New Year!

  2. […] last year, I mentioned some poems that I had written that didn’t get published as planned, and alluded to the possibility of doing a book featuring them. Since that time, I’ve been […]


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