Posted by: aediculaantinoi | April 19, 2015

What’s New With The Folks In Michigan?

I have tons of things I’d love to write for you today, and on other days, as well as several projects that I’m WAY behind on, and I may or may not get to them today, alas…Plus, the next two days are going to be fairly big here, given that tomorrow is the Hero-Feast of Memnon, and then the day after is the Megala Antinoeia and various other things, too. (I’ve got reading I’d like to accomplish meanwhile, too, but that may not happen either, alas…!?!)

So, today, I’m just going to do two quick things.

First, I’m going to suggest you go and listen to the latest two episodes of The Jaguar and the Owl, the podcast with James “Two Snakes” Stovall and Sarenth Odinsson. The earlier of the two is on suicide (an issue that comes up periodically here for a variety of reasons), and the more recent one is on a variety of topics, including soul loss/recovery, which is quite fascinating.

Go have a listen, folks! And thank you, James and Sarenth, for doing such consistently great work over there!

Second, I’ll just tell you a quick little dream that I had yesterday, which reminds me of something I’ve heard about a number of indigenous or ancient societies. Various other things happened in the dream, but the part that got me was that I was living in a small room like a dorm room, where half of it was mine and the other half someone else’s. My part of the room was very hot, and I figured out it was because there was a fire under the bed, but it hadn’t yet consumed the bed or spread further, and so I was naturally very worried, and rather than just fleeing the room, I decided I needed to try and get as much of my stuff out of there as possible to save it. I was trying to enlist the help of other people nearby, but they were entirely useless. The first thing I said was that I was going to gather up the images of the deities, which were all on a small table next to the bed; I didn’t recognize any of the deities, incidentally, I just knew I had to get them out of there. Next in my priorities was some important blankets that were on the bed; and following that, books, and then clothes.

If I needed anything to confirm what my “priorities” happen to be, this dream was it; and, as something like this was done as a quasi-rite of passage for certain societies to see what vocation a young person should pursue, maybe there’s something in that, too. It’d be nice if our society actually viewed this vocation, though, as a viable and worthwhile one.

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | April 18, 2015

An Execration

As I mentioned here (where I offered a “first effort” in this regard), today is World Heritage Day, when several people (including Galina Krasskova) have done formal rituals against the bastards who think their role upon earth is to destroy the history of the devotions of their ancestors. I will not say their name in my preamble statement here, because I think it is more effective to be silent about them whenever possible, and to reserve my saying of their name for the venom it deserves, which will be mustered below.

Execration of the Impious

May the poisonous spit of ten million cobras
be heaped upon the name of Daesh
and upon the heads and eyes and hearts
of everyone who masses under their banner.

May they who destroyed Nimrud and Hatra,
and who have threatened to bring low
the pyramidal jewels of Egypt’s crown
have their name ground into the dust.

Eat dust for your bread, O Daesh,
and may your only drink be vitriol,
and may everyone who says your name
spit on the ground for its impurity in their mouths.

The armies of the sand fleas have heeded
the call to arms and have inflicted you
with skin diseases–may the fleas rise again
and continue to attack your foul bodies!

You tried to destroy the city of Ninurta,
but the crowned sphinx will live again
to stride over your corpses with his strength
and to grind your bones into meal fit for hogs!

You tried to destroy all knowledge of the past,
to erase the great accomplishments of your ancestors,
but they turn their mighty backs on you now–
you are a people with no roots, no strength.

A rain of three billion stones fall upon you
from Allat, Manat, and Al-Uzza, three pillars
of strength which will never support you,
three foundation stones of your enemies returned.

Inanna daughter of Sin will bring whirlwinds of fire
upon you to scatter your resolve and your arms,
and Ereshkigal will hang you on hooks
while Nergal pisses on your shriveled souls.

From distant places Anat will rouse her armies
and bring a flood of blood upon you,
and Qadesh will dance rejoicing upon your trunks
shorn of limbs and heads and blinded in the eyes.

Syria’s Thyandrites, from Damascus,
will come again to light with his spear,
and trade it for missiles exploding with fire
burning your vile forms into shadow forever.

And she whose name has been profaned by you
and by an ignorant world, Isis Great In Magic:
when her name is called in reference to you
may her strength multiply a thousand times!

May Isis bring the Eyes of Re to focus on you
and burn through your flayed skins;
May Isis steal the vigor of your blood
and blast your kidneys and burst your livers.

And may all of the Lilitu of the deserts
converge in your dreams to drive you from sleep,
and may Pazuzu vomit upon you in your retreat
and fill your waking moments with filth.

All of this, O Daesh, be upon you
for the vanity of your vainglorious desires;
all of this, O Daesh, be upon you
for the idiocy of your actions against the gods;

All of this, O Daesh, be upon you
for the offense you have become to your people;
all of this, O Daesh, be upon you
for the disgrace you have become to your ancestors.

And all of this, O Daesh, and much more
to the number of seventy-two billion curses
by every god in every land be upon you
until your name and life is cut from the earth.

May you be spat upon, O Daesh,
May you be spat upon, O Daesh,
May you be spat upon, O Daesh,
May you be spat upon with blood!

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | April 17, 2015

A Birth (of a building!) and a Death (of a Sanctus)

It has been a long day, and a long week, and I don’t quite have the spoons to write a short fiction piece on the Space Needle for today…but, maybe if time allows over the next few days, I’ll be able to get to it.

However, today is the death-date of someone who, in words paraphrased from Hozier, “We should have worshipped him sooner.” That is Proclus, who died on this day in 485 CE; he was born on February 8th (one of my brother’s birthdays!) in 412 CE, and was one of the greatest neoplatonic philosophers of late antiquity. I wish I knew more about him, and though I’ve read many of Edward Butler’s essays on him or which cite his works, I have not yet read the book he wrote about Proclus (alas, reading in general has suffered over the last eight months with the eye problems), but it is high on my list.

I have posted other things about or by Proclus here previously, and so I present them again, and then a question. First, his hymn to Ianus and Hekate.

“Hymn to Hecate and Janus” (trans. Frederick Grant)

Hail, Mother of the Gods, the many-named, the nobly born!
Hail, Hecate, guardian of the gates, the Mighty one! And thou too,
Hail, O Janus, the Forefather, Zeus the immortal! Hail, Zeus supreme!
Be it mine to enjoy a life radiant on its journey, weighed down with good things!
Keep far from my body the sickness that destroys,
And upward lead my soul, from wandering in error here below,
After it has cleansed itself in soul-awakening mysteries!
Reach out to me your hands, I pray you, and show to my yearning heart
The path divine, that I may behold [its] glorious light
And find an escape from the bane of gloomy Becoming!
Reach out to me your hands, I pray, and with favoring winds
Bring me at last, and weary, to safe anchor in the harbor of devotion!
Hail, Mother of the Gods, the many-named, the nobly born!
Hail, Hecate, guardian of the gates, the Mighty one! And thou too,
Hail, O Janus, the Forefather, Zeus the immortal! Hail, Zeus supreme!

And, a few words on Proclus’ poetic devotions by Marinus of Samaria.

Every month he [Proclus] sanctified himself according to the rites devoted to the Mother of the Gods [Cybele] by the Romans, and before them by the Phrygians; he observed the holy days observed among the Egyptians even more strictly than did they themselves; and especially he fasted on certain days, quite openly. During the first day of the lunar month he remained without food, without even having eaten the night before; and he likewise celebrated the New Moon in great solemnity, and with much sanctity. He regularly observed the great festivals of all peoples, so to speak, and the religious ceremonies peculiar to each people or country.

Nor did he, like so many others, make this the pretext of a distraction, or of a debauch of food, but on the contrary they were occasions of prayer meetings that lasted all night, without sleep, with songs, hymns and similar devotions. Of this we see the proof in the composition of his hymns, which contain homage and praises not only of the gods adored among the Greeks, but where you also see worship of the god Marnas of Gaza, Asklepius Leontuchus of Ascalon, Thyandrites who is much worshipped among the Arabs, the Isis who has a temple at Philae, and indeed all other divinities. It was a phrase he much used, and that was very familiar to him, that a philosopher should watch over the salvation of not only a city, nor over the national customs of a few people, but that he should be the hierophant of the whole world in common.

– Marinus of Samaria, from The Life of Proclus, or, Concerning Happiness (translated by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie)

Pretty cool, huh?

I think he should be added to the Sancti of the Ekklesía Antínoou as a “Venerable Exemplar of Spirituality” for reasons that should be obvious to everyone. (I wish that he could be added in another category…I would not be surprised if he wrote a hymn to Antinous at some stage!) What say all of you?

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | April 16, 2015

Dies Natalis Margot Adler Sancta (and Other Stuff)

Yesterday’s post was my 2200th post…I usually make a larger deal of those milestones, but I didn’t have to yesterday given the attention it has received, both for good and ill, and I suspect both opinions probably prevail with many folks a day and more on from it.

Okay, folks: this one is going to be much *lighter* than yesterday’s post. ;)

Today is April 16th, which is the birthday of Margot Adler, the beloved broadcaster, author, and well-known pagan who also happens to be a Sancta of the Ekklesía Antínoou. She has this distinction–under the subcategory of “Dedicants to and Messengers of Antinous,” due to the inclusion of my earlier website in the resources section of her third revised edition of Drawing Down the Moon in 2006. I only met Margot a small handful of times, and the last time we met (at PantheaCon 2014), I was lucky enough to have had several important (though brief) conversations with her, to contribute to a healing ritual for her, having her attend our “Beard Blessing Ritual” (and she had fun at it!), and to give her some of the honor that I felt she deserved for what she had done for us modern Antinoans, i.e. actually putting us on the wider pagan map for the first time.

In addition to honoring her as a Sancta on this day, and singing Ignis Corporis Infirmat, Ignis see Animae Perstat for her, the wider community has been asked to honor her in various other ways, which I think is a wonderful thing. While this offering is much less than she deserves, nonetheless it is what I have at the moment, and it has turned out to be rather more topical than I would have ever imagined it might be.

I hope to read many more of Margot’s books in the future, but thus far I’ve only read Drawing Down the Moon. I have had Vampires Are Us sitting on my shelf looking longingly at me, however, since before PantheaCon 2014, and I hope to get to it in the not-too-distant future, not only to honor her, but to read her fuller and more detailed argument and annotated bibliography on this subject. So, in honor of her, and her last extended written work, I’ll tell you a bit today about vampires.

I’ve been accused of (or perhaps “assumed to be” would be a more appropriate turn of phrase!) being a vampire more often in my life than I have been accused of or assumed to be a werewolf–which is kind of too bad, in a way, not only because I have done a lot of work on werewolves, but because I am literally a werewolf by certain understandings of the life and practice involved with werewolves. (“How is that possible, P.S.V.L., aside from your wacky-ass name?” Ní hansa! Because in certain societies, including Irish society, werewolves became wolves in their sleep/in dreams, and I’ve done that on a number of occasions. It hasn’t happened in a while, but one never knows when it might need to happen again…!?!) For some, this vampiric assumption is due to my occasionally rather gothic fashion tastes (which haven’t been exceedingly prominent or prevalent for the last few years); for others, this is due to the fact that I tend to wear sunglasses at all times, including indoors and at night (due to vision problems–on which, more in a subsequent segment of the present post!); and for yet others, it’s because I keep getting caught flying about at night, glamoring people, sucking blood from their femoral arteries, and then ducking into a hole in the ground before dawn–BLEH! BLEH! BLEH! [Why on Gaia’s green earth do vampires say “BLEH!” so much? I don’t know. I just know that they always have, ever since the 70s, when my dad would pretend to be one. Huh. Bleh.]. But, if I really am honest, I have to admit that in one very early instance, when I was about 4, I really tried to be a vampire. This one in particular, as a matter of fact:

Count Von Count

It was for Hallowe’en, when I was about 4 years old–I know this because it was before I was in public school and could no longer talk about liking Sesame Street with people without potential embarrassment, but it was after the year I was Jiminy Cricket and my older brother was Pinocchio (when I was about 3). In kindergarten, I literally got to be the teacher’s pet, because my teacher was always a witch for the event, and I had come as Tom (from Tom & Jerry), and to lead the line of students, she needed a cat, because what witch doesn’t have a cat, and I was the only one in my class to be at all feline on that occasion. (Isn’t that weird?) I can’t quite remember what I was in the first grade, but in second, I was a ghost, and had two costumes–one a sheet with accoutrements I made myself, and the second a store-bought pseudo/generic-Casper-like ghost; in the third grade, I was my usual sweater-clad self, only with a generic Transformer-like robot head mask (!?!); but then in the fourth grade, I (and about six other kids in my class) was a vampire once again, with the vinyl collared cape and the fangs. My best friend at the time was the Statue of Liberty (I think his mother forced him into it), and so at recess he tried to kill my vampiric ass with his torch. You can imagine how that worked out…I at last pointed out to him that the Statue of Liberty’s torch was bronze, not actual light or fire, and was therefore not effective on me…and he bought it. ;)

Returning to the first grade, though, I had my own further brush with vampires that year: in music class, we had to make up Hallowe’en themed variations on the song “The Farmer in the Dell” and then draw pictures to go with them. So, my own contribution was “Dracula in his coffin.” Most of the other students didn’t know what a “coffin” was (geez, I really was pretty gothic from an early age, it seems!), much less how to draw one with red velvet and brass-buttoned cushions and all in it, with a convincing vampire laying there as well. Our music teacher then laminated our pictures and put rings through them, and used it in the future. The one time she did that again with our class in a later grade, not remembering that some of us in front of her were the ones who made the book, we went through and sang the song for each page in it, and when she got to mine, it was the only one upon which she stopped to comment–“And this even LOOKS LIKE Dracula!” (“Of course it does, lady–didn’t I draw it?,” I thought but did not say at the time, but then bragged to my friends at recess about it, none of whom remembered that they had drawn some of the other pictures, nor did they think I was telling the truth, because several of them tried to argue they had drawn it…This would not be the first copyright dispute with friends I had growing up, I’m sad to say…perhaps one day I’ll tell the story of how I learned the word “plagiarism” in the sixth grade.)

Vampires came and went in my life after that, but then the next major time I was thought to be one was when someone I knew was reading, I think, one of the Anne Rice books when we were in the 10th or 11th grade, and we went to pick up another friend of ours who was coming back via train from a trip to Chicago. While sitting in the (old) train station in Everett, where I’d eventually be living for a few years (the town, not the train station–though I did spend an awful lot of time there), she was telling me about how cool this book was, and she said that I reminded her of one or the other of the vampires in it, based on my habits and dress sense. Huh. I never read any of Rice’s vampire books (the only thing I read by her was Exit to Eden, about which I have mixed feelings…partially because of how I ended up reading it, i.e. who made me read it, but that’s YET ANOTHER story!), but I saw Impire with a Vanterview eventually (I think more than a decade after it was out), as well as Queen of the Damned (which was great to look at, but kind of dumb in various ways).

Then, of course, there was Dungeons & Dragons, and Ravenloft within it. One of my friends was heavily into that even before it became its own entire campaign world/realm/dimension. I was more interested in Spelljammer, which none of my friends liked. Oh well. :(

Vampires come and go, of course, but I’ve been mostly indifferent to many of them for the last ten years, with one exception: True Blood, as avid readers of this blog know. I was finally able to finish watching that series this last weekend, when we had a free weekend of HBO, and I’m glad I have some closure over it now…though I’m somewhat disappointed in how rather conventional (and short on the details) its “happily ever after (without the main relationship lasting)” resolution ended up being. Honestly, I was hoping they’d do something interesting, and say that Bill’s rapidly-advancing Hep-V due to Sookie’s faerie blood would kind of turn him human, as it seemed to be doing both emotionally for him as well as metaphysically (since Sookie could hear his thoughts eventually), and that Sookie would use her faerie-blast thing one last time, thus losing her own powers and becoming human but killing him, as he had requested…and yet, what if that odd combination then left her human, and then fully turned him back to a human? Now, that would have been rather cheezy, and a bit too lovey-dovey, but WHY ON EARTH THE FUCK NOT???!!!??? We don’t watch shows like that to be reminded of how things never work out in reality, so why not have a fantasy where everyone gets to “win,” so to speak?

eric_n_pam

While two of my favorite characters–Eric Northman and Pam–did not disappoint in providing some wry and rather black at times humor throughout the final season, I’m very surprised in the final outcomes for them, and was both amused but also somewhat horrified. They could be selfish and even homicidal and I didn’t blink; but, at one point, when Big Gus asked Eric “You’re a capitalist, right?” and he answered affirmatively, I was shocked! I didn’t feel that I had enough info at the end: did they do the typical capitalist thing and make New Blood not effective as a single-dose cure to create an ongoing market for it, or did they make it so that one dose would fix people who needed it? I wasn’t clear about it.

Capitalists and the genetic-engineered medical/pharmaceutical industry…can’t fathom why that would be a somewhat intriguing topic to me of late, can you?

But, I know other pagans, writing reviews of Margot’s book, also have made the link to vampires and capitalism. In True Blood, it’s not so much a metaphor as it is a blatant statement of position, in many respects.

Divorcing the vampire from a capitalist image or association, though, I’ve occasionally wondered about writing some of my own non-spiritual tries at typical vampire (and/or werewolf) fiction, and it does intrigue me, but not quite enough to spend time with it that could be better used writing about Antinous and the like. (And, I have written one verse in a very odd poem about Antinous that imagined him not as a god, but as a vampire…but that poem may not see the light of day for most people, at least at this point.)

Something else I’ve wondered, though, is if the True Blood vampire parameters, so to speak, were real and in effect and one could be turned into a vampire, would I do it if I had the chance?

At this moment in my life, I’d have to say yes, and here’s why.

1) It would relieve me of worrying about medical bills and such ever again, and thus the need to have a job with insurance.

2) It would allow me to keep writing and doing other things for a much longer time than I’d have otherwise.

3) My sex life would probably end up being much more interesting VERY quickly, probably including how I was turned in the first place and by whom. (Mmm…!?!)

4) One thing that struck me in True Blood about how cool this might be is when Tara first became a vampire, and looked up at the night sky and saw the stars in a way no human ever could. As someone who has always preferred Nyx to Hemera, and is far more nocturnal than diurnal, I don’t think it would take me too much adjustment to get used to; and given that I’d be effectively immortal, it wouldn’t prevent me from doing some of the things I’d like to do in the sun at night instead…why not lay on the beach or swim in the ocean when no one else is there and it’s too cold for regular folks, for example?

5) I’d love to glamour certain people in ways that would, for example, force them to treat people better, give raises to people who deserve it, or give up (or at very least acknowledge) some of their privilege. Sure, there might be a temptation to use this ability for personal gain, but because I value consent in certain matters a great deal, I don’t know that I’d go about abusing it just because I could. (Or, at least I hope that would be the case.) But, “Quit being a racist and apologize for that horrible thing you did on national television”? “Sell all the assets of the American Family Association to GLBTQIA+ youth charities and don’t speak another homophobic word again”? “It’s time to run this college less like a business and more like an educational institution”? “Tell the oil companies to fuck off and put them out of business”? Yeah…I’d probably make a list and do a lot of that sort of thing, both for friends and family as well as for larger groups wherever possible.

6) And, yes, I’d have to admit, I’d also use glamouring for certain non-harmful but selfish things as well. “You’ll let me in to your special collections, and will keep the place open a few extra hours while I read that manuscript, even though I’m not a student or faculty-member at this university.” “You didn’t see me touch that statue in the museum exhibit here up-close, did you?” “Of course you’ll let me go off the path at the Villa here to see the things I want to see!” You get the drift.

7) Moving really fast is kind of cool.

8) I don’t own that much silver, so giving it up won’t hurt me too badly.

9) I’ve always thought “vampire ethics” as far as having to be invited in and so forth is pretty good practice in general, and not just for going to people’s houses; so, having a metaphysical enforcement of that wouldn’t be anywhere outside of what I already observe.

And, I think nine reasons is a nice round (or, actually, both square and triangular!) number, so let’s leave it at that for now! ;)

*****

In other news, I went to the eye doctor today, and had what I hope will be the last (or, at least “the last for a while”) laser treatment on my right eye–the one that has been giving me trouble almost continuously since December when it got a laser treatment, and which then gave out big-time while at PantheaCon and has been giving me grief ever since, and which I’ve now had a total of three injections into over the course of the last six months. Unfortunately, Jean-Claude was not there to hold my hand or anything else during the procedure, which is too bad, because it would have been nice and much more pleasant if someone did, and also because he doesn’t exist. The laser procedure in December on my right eye was the most uncomfortable procedure I’ve yet undergone, and was rather hellish in many ways; however, the one today made that one look like something annoying, uncomfortable, and horrifically hellish still, and yet orders of magnitude lower than today’s…perhaps the difference between Tartaros (today) and, say, the “It’s A Small World After All” ride at Disneyland. I seriously thought about not going in to work later, but after sleeping for a few hours longer than expected to attempt to recover, I was in serviceable-enough condition to head in and do what was necessary today, though I did not feel good and was not happy to do so. I’m glad I did, not only because it is good to get paid and not lose one’s job, but also because in my history class, we had a good discussion on making historical distinctions based on precision of language–can something good and not based in a toxic ideology that results as a reaction to such an ideology be considered “influenced by” such an ideology even if it arrives at a diametrically opposed position? There was a good and robust debate on this, and each side saw the merits in what was said by the others, so that was enjoyable to facilitate and witness this early on in the quarter with a group of students that are mostly in high school.

If Sterculinus has taught me nothing else, it’s that one has to become good at turd-polishing when one is in a position to get handed shit more often than not, so I take my small victories where they can be found. ;)

*****

Finally, I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Dr. Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin, a great Medieval Irish/Celtic Studies scholar and professor, has died. I only had the chance to meet her on a few occasions at conferences, but she was an amazing and wonderful woman, a strong personality, and an innovative and provocative thinker in so many ways. She was the Irish scholar that I mentioned, during Alley and Rhyd’s talk on anti-capitalism at PantheaCon two months ago, who suggested that using the matter of the road being built through the Tara-Skryne Valley in Ireland and destroying some 250+ archaeological sites of significance (and thus both symbolically and literally striking at the Sovereignty of Ireland) should be an issue via which the Irish people should use the European courts to bring down the then-government of Ireland. That was in 2005 at the Ulster Cycle conference that she said that to all of us at the reception the first night. The economic crash took a few years to happen, and the turnover in the political parties in government likewise, but nonetheless, it did happen, and I see no coincidences in that.

muireannintroearlyirishlit

Meanwhile, I’d suggest honoring her memory by obtaining a very good book that she wrote: An Introduction to Early Irish Literature, which was published in 2009. A better guide on the subject has probably never yet been written, and if this is the book that seals Dr. Ní Bhrolcháin’s position as a Medieval Irish/Celtic Studies scholar of significance, especially for making this material more easily accessible to the wider public, then it is a very good legacy for her to have left.

I shall always remember something she said in the paper she gave at the Ulster Cycle conference in 2005, which was on Serglige Con Culainn and its sexual aspects. “It’s said that in that fair otherworld house, there are two-hundred couches, which are essentially beds. When I read this I immediately think: BROTHEL!

May Cú Chulainn himself guide you to the House of Donn, a Mhuireann a chara, 7 Buaid 7 Bendachta Dé 7 An-Dé fort.

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | April 15, 2015

Ableism and Some of the Anti-Movements…

It’s tax day, folks–the day that people of all political persuasions in the U.S. can come together in the feeling that they’re either not satisfied with their income (and if they make more than $50,000 a year in most locations, then that’s a problem), or are upset that what the government has already taken from them and often put to horrific use isn’t coming back to them. (And those possibilities are only the tip of the iceberg, I’m sure.)

In our culture, when we talk about money in any sense, we’re probably also going to be talking about (whether directly or not) capitalism, and this seems to be a rather buzzing topic in many sections of the pagan blogosphere (and elsewhere) of late.

One example is John Michael Greer, who has been talking about the peak oil crisis for a long time now.

On other fronts, another bearded druid named JohnJohn Beckett suggests “don’t despair!”

It’s kind of hard not to, though, in my case…as I will explain below.

As much as I enjoy and have been following (most of) Gods and Radicals, there is something I have noticed about a lot of the folks writing there: not many of them seem to be disabled or chronically ill. As a result, I suspect that many of them have fallen prey to a relatively invisible “-ism” that is pervasive.

For example, there is this (excellent and important!) post by Rhyd Wildermuth (which was itself a response to this post by John Halstead, itself a response to some critiques made by Alley Valkyrie on an earlier post of his…but let’s not do the infinite regression of links thing, shall we?) in which, toward the end, Rhyd says:

But, then again, I grew up poor. Despite all the horrors of my childhood, I’m fucking glad of it, because I know you can survive on nothing [emphasis P.S.V.L.’s]. I also know that the hunger I endured and the coal-soot in the winter and my grandfather’s brain tumor and our open sewer was all only just a taste of what feeds the voracious hunger of Capitalism.

While I appreciate and agree with (and in several points applaud) what Rhyd is saying in his post and the world he’s arguing for (and I’ve written before on that pernicious meme “a poor magician is a poor magician”), the part I emphasized in the quote above is the part I have the most trouble with. Let me explain by pointing to another example.

In the recent discussions of the Indiana “religious freedom” acts and so forth, at another (non-pagan) website I saw a list of companies that it was suggested that people boycott because they have major production facilities or are headquartered in Indiana. One of those corporations that it was suggested should be boycott is the Eli Lilly & Co. corporation, which is a major pharmaceutical company. Someone in the comment thread said that one of their prescription medications is made by Lilly, and someone else (possibly the original writer of the piece)–in their infinite wisdom–said “Well just get the generic.” The entire boycott was suggested in the effort of making it clear that anyone who decides to do business in Indiana, even if they came out against the RFRA measure (as Eli Lilly & Co. did), still needs to be penalized, and the only way to do that is to have a united, everyone-in front against them to demonstrate that. Independent of whether or not that is a good strategy (I’m reminded of the blindness to economic privilege that some people have in suggesting those who don’t have jobs “just move somewhere” where there are jobs…yes, a corporation can afford to do that easier, but to completely relocate a factory isn’t exactly easy or without consequence), the notion that someone can just “buy generic” as an answer to some things is entirely ridiculous and, to be honest, quite fucked up.

I can’t really say that I’m a huge fan of the Eli Lilly & Co. pharmaceutical company for all sorts of reasons, including the absolutely extortionate prices that they charge in the U.S. for prescriptions. On my current insurance (provided by my collegiate employer, such as it is–which is still far better than nothing, but not as good as what I’ve had at the other full-time university I taught at for a few months when I had that temporary position in Michigan), I pay $40 for what is roughly a month’s supply of insulin, which is three bottles. I will probably be needing more than this amount soon, as I’ve been doing “insulin rationing” for the past eight years in order to save money and insulin pump supplies (which are also pretty damned expensive). Without insurance, I’d be paying $120 per bottle–not enough to last even ten days for me now. In England and Ireland (both capitalist countries, I should add), to me this would be free, and it was when I lived in those places for the time that I did. While I can get it cheaper from certain Canadian pharmaceutical supply places–which I used when I did not have insurance–it is still made by Lilly, but is then imported from places like Turkey, and takes a bit more time, not to mention resources to get it to me rather than having it “locally sourced,” so to speak, even though that “local source” is Indiana.

In case you didn’t know, they don’t make “generic insulin.” The prices for insulin from other companies that make it is comparable, and as I’ve been on Lilly insulins for more than thirty years now, and the type of human-equivalent insulin they make (through a fascinating process of recombinant DNA technology) is patented to them, then whether I like them or not, I’m stuck with them if I want to maintain my current level of health.

So, what becomes apparent from my narrative above is that the capitalist system has a stranglehold on my health and ability to function in ways that I am not entirely happy with nor content over.

The politics and non-discussions of “who’s more disabled” are a dirty business meant to divide an under-privileged minority even further, and so I won’t engage in them, and instead will only speak for myself and my own situation and my understanding of it. Unless there is insulin in some form in my life, my life becomes pretty short–I might be able to last a few days at most, and that may only be a little bit longer than many other insulin-dependent diabetics I know, only because I’ve lived for many years of my life at a higher average blood sugar than is medically recommended due to lack of money to get regular maintenance and supplies–and I’m paying for that now at a much earlier time in my life than could have otherwise been possible because of increasing complications (e.g. neuropathy, retinopathy, etc.). Thank all the gods my kidneys work pretty well–at least at this stage.

If we are talking about the collapse of capitalism in some sudden moment of crisis, and commerce and interstate transportation become impossible, then my life contracts to the length of time that I can live at subsistence levels on the amount of insulin and other supplies that I have left. Even if “something gets worked out” and we begin bartering for the necessities of life like food and such, if there isn’t an insulin factory with people running it and giving away the insulin for free in my town, then I’m pretty much screwed. I am only allowed, at this point, three bottles of insulin a month at the price I mentioned above, so the possibility of “stockpiling” it is not an option; plus, a single bottle of insulin is only good for about a year by the manufacturer’s recommendations, and only if refrigerated relatively continuously. (I lived for about six months on expired insulin when I lived in Ireland as a doctoral student, before I knew I could get it there for free…those were not the healthiest months of my life.)

I was part of a discussion several years back on some online place or other having to do with peak oil and so forth, and I mentioned that I’m insulin-dependent diabetic, and some absolutely deluded fool in the conversation said “Well, so am I, which is why we’re raising cattle so that when the big crash happens, I can have insulin.” This is, of course, a reference to “beef and pork insulin,” which was what got used before they had the ability to synthesize human-equivalent insulin. What this deluded diabetic didn’t realize is that beef and pork insulin still has to be processed, and its processing and retrieval is only possible with industrial levels of pork and cattle processing. It takes a great deal more than just getting a cow’s pancreas and putting it in the “insulin press” and VOILA! some insulin. One cow’s pancreas worth of insulin derived in that fashion would probably only get someone about a day’s worth of it. And, I seriously doubt this person had a herd of 365 cows ready to be slaughtered on a daily basis. That’s not a very good strategy for sustainability in the face of an inevitable crisis.

What I’m getting at here, thus, is that there is a certain degree of able-ism present in many people who argue that everyone will be able to get along fine without capitalism. Yes, I can certainly imagine life without an iPhone, because I’ve never owned one and rather hate them–at last, I’d be able to have a conversation with someone, especially someone my age or younger, with them going “Look at/listen to/read THIS!” or just making sure that the text or e-mail they just received isn’t more important than whatever it is we’re doing at the time. Yes, I can certainly imagine life without television; I enjoy some shows when I can see them these days, but my television watching habits are pretty moderate to low these days, with only about three hours of television a week that I would highly prioritize, and that still seems like a lot (I have lived for years at a time in the past seeing a television only when I was at other people’s houses, and was no worse for it). Yes, I can imagine life without the internet; the convenience of certain things would be missed, and the ease of research and information-gathering would be a definitely perceived lack, but I also came of age as a researcher when all we had was libraries, so it could be done. Yes, I can even imagine not going places and staying in one location; I do enjoy traveling, but I also enjoy appreciating the places where I am, and would generally prefer not to travel too far nor too often when it can be helped in order to foster better relationships with land spirits in one location.

But, without a steady supply of insulin and a delivery system for it, my life telescopes to a matter of days.

[No, none of us knows how long our life will really be, and I could just as easily die from a bus accident tomorrow or getting hit with a meteor in a year than I might by “natural causes” like a disease being uncontrolled and killing me, so many of you might say “But that makes you no different than anyone.” To this I answer: why did the notion of “All Lives Matter” seem so offensive to the Black Lives Matter movement? If you can’t do the math and draw the lines and figure this out yourself, and realize that this argument is a nice way to derail the reality of what I’m saying and the situation of many different types of disabled people who would be in similarly difficult straits in such a circumstance, then you should probably stop reading this now and go and educate yourself on your able-bodied privilege.]

When I have studied Buddhism and similar systems in the past, one of the things that I was driven nuts by is the notion that one needs rely on no external things for one’s existence. It’s an inherently ableist assumption, and one that is not remotely true for any of us who are disabled or who have chronic illnesses. So, to hear someone I love and respect as much as Rhyd make that statement (quoted above and with the added emphasis by me) is really disheartening.

In fairness, I suspect the people who are insulin-dependent and end up homeless and completely destitute probably don’t last long on the streets, and people with various other medications-dependent conditions likewise succumb. The rather brutal Darwinian laws of “survival of the fittest” apply at that level, and those of us who are seriously ill or disabled simply aren’t as “fit” as everyone else. This is a message that not a single one of us in this position doubts for a second, nor is allowed to forget. It’s also something that the environmentalist movement routinely ignores: it takes a lot more resources to keep us alive than it does a “normal” person. As a result, one could very easily and even correctly argue that with the health care system and medical technologies that we currently have which keep people alive for longer, despite all of their annoyances and inadequacies and injustices, are also part of the problem.

I have heard more than one person–including people who are certified-government-disabled (but the nature of their disabilities does not mean that they actually entirely rely on medications of some sort for pure biological survival)–pretty much just write off those of us who would end up dying if there is a radical crash in society.

Now, here’s the part that is probably going to surprise most of you, and which sometimes even surprises me as I think about it more.

WHen that circumstance comes about, I am ready to die.

Too many pagans are always talking about how their religion is a “this-world” matter, and they emphasize it and place little to no emphasis on notions of afterlives and so forth (or, they have a belief in reincarnation–however simple or complex–and thus assume that “sustainability” and “recycling” works on a supernatural level as much as it will “save the world” on a physical level). Yes, I agree, this world needs to be regarded as an important reality, that our bodies are soul-parts as much as our non-material or more subtle soul-parts are, and that materiality has an inherent worth, dignity, validity, and significance, and its pleasures should be appreciated and enjoyed while we have the ability to do so. And, really, bodies (including disabled ones) are fuckin’ cool! But, at the same time, I cannot ignore the fact that I will be dead for a lot longer span of time than I will be alive, and to run away from that reality (assuming, of course, that there is some kind of continuity after the final transformation of death, which I do assume because of a variety of things including previous personal experience) is as ignorant and myopic as entirely devaluing and downplaying the “this-worldly” significance of things that some mainstream religions have done as well.

This is why Antinous, the Antinoan Mysteries, and afterlives are important to me, and why I am pursuing them with as much fervor as I can muster amidst all of the other crap I have to deal with, health-related and otherwise. And as I’ve mentioned on a few other occasions, those who think that the Tetrad++ Group are only about gender, gender identity, and the “mysteries” (if, indeed, that is an appropriate term for this phenomenon) of these things, are and will be in for a rude awakening when they realize that eschatology is just as important and significant for them as it is for a number of other deities.

I think the capitalist system as it is enforced in the U.S. is superlatively unjust, and needs to come crashing down, and the sooner, the better. I also know that if the collapse is as total and complete as many people suggest it will be, and we are suddenly forced to exist wherever we’re at when it happens, there is going to be an awful lot of death from starvation, lack of medical treatment, and simply violence–those who are strong will decide that they deserve to live longer and with more of what resources remain (or can be obtained by force) than those who are weak. While I certainly wish, in a self-serving way, that there will be some kind of “exception” made for me and others like me that may allow me to live a while longer after that crash, I know it won’t happen. And, I’m content with that–in the event of such a crash and what will result from it, the imminence of my demise will serve to profoundly focus what I’m doing, and those final days for me will be something quite extraordinary and beautiful in equal parts that they are horrific and barbarous and full of suffering. Such is life, right?

The only difference between a situation like that and my current existence is that in my current existence, I don’t know when I’ll be thrown into a situation of that sort, and whether or not there will be a way out of it. (Indeed, I’ve been looking for ways to improve my situation for the past ten years, and it still hasn’t happened to any significant extent–yes, I’m better off now with a job and some insurance than I was for many of those years where I had neither, but things are still far from ideal.) There is a strange comfort–a cold and grim one, to be certain, but nonetheless it is a kind of comfort–in knowing what the future will hold exactly and how likely it is to be such. I certainly don’t wish for an acceleration of the imminence of my own demise, but I also know that the notion which would imply things can or will be different or better in the post-crash future just because P.S.V.L. would hope they are and would like them to be is idle fantasy. I’m not opposed to those changes coming about, and in the meantime I’ll do my best with not being complacent and certainly not willfully ignorant over these matters, nor apathetic on their necessity. If that looks like a “death-wish” (which it kind of is), then perhaps you’ll understand why my spiritual practice and the personal and cosmic eschatological aspects of it are priorities to me in a way almost everything else in my life is not.

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | April 14, 2015

One Week Until Megala Antinoeia!

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Megala Antinoeia will be on April 21st this year, as it is and has been every year since we began marking it.

Part of the proceedings, in which all can participate, is the agon or “sacred games” of Antinous in the form of a devotional art competition. Specific details on this can be found at the previous link.

So, this is a reminder: work on your pieces, and get ready to post them and notify me of them next Tuesday the 21st! I can hardly wait! ;)

And neither can he! ;)

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | April 13, 2015

The Line-Up for Many Gods West…

As mentioned in a recent post, the lineup for Many Gods West has been finalized, and I can state now that it will include the following presenters, as mentioned here, here, and elsewhere:

Morpheus Ravenna
Coru Cathubodua
Kirk Thomas
Heathen Chinese
John Beckett
Anaar Niino
Brandy Williams
Sarenth Odinsson
River Devora
Rynn Fox
Sean Donahue
Elena Rose
Langston Kahn
Silence Maestas
Sobeknefru
Jason Thomas Pitzl
Ryan Smith
Galina Krasskova
Bakcheion (including Sannion!)
Owen Cook
Conor Davis
Anomalous Thracian
Gordana Kokich
Gwion Raven
Michael Strojan
Finnchuill
Jason Mankey
Tony Rella
L. Phaedras
Henry Lauer
Seb Barnett
Cara Freyasdaughter

It’s a pretty impressive line-up, if you ask me, and there’s something for (almost) everyone here, I’d venture! It should be fun, if nothing else, to have all of these luminaries in one place together, I think!

So, go on ahead and get registered now!

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | April 12, 2015

Not Ded

Yesterday, April 11th, was the dies natalis of Divus Septimius Severus. While it is certainly not one of the “major” holy days of the Ekklesía Antínoou, and Severus is not one of the deified Emperors who is especially essential in our practices nor to the historical cultus of Antinous (at least as far as I am aware at present), in many respects I have had a closeness to him in ways that even surpasses that of my closeness to Hadrian. It would take a long time to explain, but one major thing was his presence in Roman Britain toward the end of his life, specifically in the location known now as South Shields, and known in ancient times as Arbeia, to the east of Newcastle. While Hadrian’s Wall doesn’t quite reach as far out there (and it is on the south bank of the Tyne, thus it would have been weird to extend the Wall as a bridge to get to it…though that would have been a very Hadrianic thing to do, come to think of it–!?!), nonetheless it is an important spot in the area. I’ve been there, and interestingly enough, Arbeia and Severus came up in a conversation at one point yesterday, and I hadn’t even recalled that it was Severus’ dies natalis. And yet, we don’t always have to think of these things consciously to have them come up, do we? (Or, at least I’ll keep telling myself that when it happens!)

arbeiagate

That’s what the site of Arbeia looks like now, as I visited it in July of 2003. Severus was, amongst other things, an admirer and imitator of Hadrian as well, which makes it all the more appropriate that he ended up in the region of Hadrian’s Wall (and Hadrian’s Bridge, Pons Aelius, i.e. Newcastle itself!) during the course of his life and principate.

But, there’s something else about April 11th, which also has to do with Britain, and with me, which I often forget for much of the year, and which I had thought about earlier this year, but the in the rush of the last two weeks, I had forgotten, until relatively late yesterday…

When I was in Oxford between October of 1996 and June of 1997, I had a dream at one point early in 1997 that the day of my death would be April 11th. I did not know the year, but it seemed relatively certain, and I was not upset about it, nor necessarily fatalistically resigned to it either–it simply was. That year, April 11th came and went, and I was still alive; and every year since, April 11th has come and gone, and I’m still here. It tends to give me a confidence boost the day afterwards if I managed to survive it (which, obviously, I did!), but the day itself can be all sorts of things.

About the only thing of worth I did yesterday, other than speak to two friends (on the phone or Skype), was write this, because otherwise I felt a strange absence and emptiness in my life. I was cold almost all day and night. I did not leave the house, and no one came to visit. And, for all intents and purposes, nothing out-of-the-ordinary happened. But, I also didn’t do my usual daily practice. It was as if articulating my new position as far as Antinous is concerned was more important than doing the usual things, and having the protection and blessings of all the other deities and such in my life was not as important as simply realizing, and also saying, that Antinous is there with me at all times.

In its own way, yesterday was kind of a “death” in certain respects…and I’m having trouble exactly parsing how, and what it will mean for me.

All I know–on this end of it–is that I’m happy to be alive, and I’m not going to let the various forces in the world that are seeming to marshal their strengths against me now to defeat or kill me, at least easily, at this stage, nor will I allow those forces to overwhelm me and force me to do that task for them myself, if you understand what I’m saying.

Perhaps like the jahiform image of Hadrian and Antinous that I now wear at all times (except when in water), and like the main gate at Arbeia, there are two doors and two gates that may be open or closed at any time. While the one is open, it is my choice to walk through it; when the other is open, who knows? And when the one which is now open is closed, who knows either? But nonetheless, the choice to walk through is still always mine.

I’d better start walking.

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | April 11, 2015

When Your Heart Moves To Your Throat…

I don’t know about y’all, but I have to say: I tend to go back-and-forth when it comes to the theory and practice of “chakras.”

[And you might now be thinking: what in the world is P.S.V.L. doing talking about chakras? What do they have to do with Antinous?]

Not unlike that procrustean bed of occultism known as “kabbalah,” it has often seemed to me that chakras are a kind of pagan lingua franca that has been used, over-used, and misused for a great variety of things. Need to map your spiritual journey? Chakras! Want to talk about spiritual anatomy? Chakras! Want to see if some spiritual problem you’re having is manifesting physically in your body with some issue? Well, Chakras! are the answer, folks!

I have to say, I have a mixed history with chakras and the systems that have used them. It goes all the way back to my teenage years, first with something I vividly remember but was rather opposed to, and then something that I so heavily studied it laid the basis for much of what I know on this subject now (and, I happily and freely admit, my knowledge is superficial and incomplete as a result).

Sometime in the late 80s, I think, when I was a very young teenager, my family took a trip to visit my grandparents in Spokane. We stayed in a hotel which was actually a converted apartment building, which was not exactly the Ritz. One night–as I often did while staying at my grandmother’s house proper–we were in the hotel and were watching Johnny Carson on television. One of the guests was Shirley MacLaine, and I didn’t know anything much about her other than that she was “famous” for some reason or other. She then took up an entire segment putting colored circular stickers on Johnny and telling him (and the audience) about chakras. Because I had no context and very little knowledge of wider world religions or practices at the time, I just thought she was a bit weird; she didn’t say where she got these ideas from either. Of course, being dyslexic, since I didn’t see this word written down, for the longest time I remembered it as “shockers.”

Not an auspicious start, I know.

However, I got a more positive re-introduction to the subject a few years later, when I got into Joseph Campbell (yes, I know–groan all you like!), and not one but TWO of the Transformations of Myth Through Time lectures was on the chakras. I read it, I watched it, I listened to it, and I took notes on it until I was (at least for those around me who hadn’t watched or listened or read as much on it as I had) a bit of an expert–though, I admit, a shallow one at that, but it never took much to impress most people in the town where I grew up. If nothing else on this topic, I am thankful to Campbell for teaching the Sanskrit names of the seven principal chakras of kundalini yoga, which I still remember now (though I sometimes don’t remember the meanings of those words and have to look them up again).

As I began reading up on paganism and such not long after my immersion in Joseph Campbell, I eventually started encountering mention of chakras rather frequently in this literature, often in weird places. I was not aware that any of the Celtic peoples, for example, had anything like chakras, and yet according to some (stupid and fraudulent) people, they did. It never really went away, and it was good to have known a bit about some of these things for a number of later experiences that I had, and to evaluate a number of ideas that were presented to me as gospel truth which may not have been worthy of such regard.

The time when I determined, however, that whether or not I liked or didn’t like the chakra system, and whether or not I thought it was true or not, and whether or not its systematization appealed to me or was a little bit too perfect to be real, nonetheless there was something to it (despite a number of small experiences in that direction on a few other occasions), was when I was at Findhorn up in Scotland in 2001, which I believe I’ve spoken about here (and elsewhere) on many other occasions. Shiva was very much a part of those experiences, as was Dionysos. I got my start at being a loud queer radical at that conference; I got my introduction to Krishna Das’ music there; I made one friend that I’m still in contact with (and spoke with earlier today!) and who has been an amazing influence in my life; and I think the way was laid for my proper introduction to Antinous the year after at that conference. (And all that despite many other aspects of it being utter crap and bordering on abusive, not to mention culturally appropriative, and so forth.) But where I had the experience of going, “Yeah, this chakra thing is the real deal” was when I treated myself and got a wholistic massage from a fellow attendee of the conference who had a local practice of such named Lev Seller. It was a very good massage, first of all–perhaps one of the best ones I’d ever had up to then, and very likely the same now. Lev was also extremely thorough, getting a full medical history before he did it, as well as recent “emotional history,” so to speak, which might point toward certain issues. There was some tough tension that he was able to alleviate in my shoulders and back in particular on that occasion. But then, toward the end (when our time was running out) and he was going through everything to make sure he hadn’t missed anything, he asked if there were any further issues I might have had, and I asked about a few things, he said he detected that I was carrying some sadness, and as he mentioned it, I pretty much got a stabbing pain right in my solar plexus. Yeah, sure enough, third chakra (Manipura) issues big-time. He wasn’t able to do anything about it on that occasion, but it became something known and acknowledged to me at the time, and ever since.

Then, in 2008 or 2009 (I have a tough time narrowing it down…but I have a more definite record of it elsewhere), when I was traveling by bus from Everett to Oak Harbor, I had one of the more odd physically-dimensioned spiritual experiences I’d yet encountered (little did I know the birth of the first three members of the Tetrad++ was a few years away!) when something sort of “landed” in my solar plexus and decided to make its home there…and it was good. Upon further investigation and discernment, it was pretty obvious that it was Antinous.

Several years later, in 2012, I obtained the pin shown above, and began wearing it daily, usually over or around my heart. I did not go into public without it, ever, and even if I was just going to be around the house for the day, likewise I would wear it for at least a portion of the day. To me, putting it on and taking it off again as part of my daily practices, and then leaving it on my main shrine for the time I might be sleeping (unless I napped with it on, which I did on several occasions) was my way of showing that I was “on duty,” so to speak, for Antinous, and that I had to actively choose to bring him with me and so forth on each day. (Indeed, most of the sacred objects I carry with me are reminders of that same sort of thing in various ways.) It was also something, for those who were perceptive enough to see it, of a signal and a sign that I am a devotee and clergy for Antinous. [Not that most people knew, but oh well…] People would sometimes ask about the pin, and I’d tell them more or less depending on who they were and why they were asking.

In all that time, it rarely if ever fell off. I think it only did maybe once or twice, and I caught it immediately. I would also check it from time to time to make sure it was still there, and I’d sometimes feel the internal fastening part of the pin rubbing against my chest or sticking me slightly, and each time it did it would remind me that it was Antinous and his presence was with me at all times.

And that all seemed to be going well and made sense…until recently.

Last week, when I was out with a few people at my storage unit, I had a bag with me, and was maneuvering it in some direction or another and it brushed against my chest, and then knocked the pin off. This kind of disturbed and upset me, but I was able to find the back of it, put it back on, and then just go about my business again.

Unfortunately, the same thing happened again a few days later.

When my brother and nephew were here over last weekend, I had done my usual morning routine on Sunday the 5th, and was otherwise ready for the first leg of our trips out for the day. I picked up the “Bag of Bags” containing the Book of Books, and the strap (“of straps”?) on it got under the pin and pulled it out. I swore, and then recovered the pin, but the back of it was gone, and I couldn’t find where. We looked for several minutes and couldn’t find it. Other similar pin-backs were offered to me, but none of them actually fit the pin and were too loose and would not have held it on. This really disturbed and upset me, and I pondered long and hard about it…

And then I decided to come up with an alternative.

Remember this?

It is a medallion, available from averidesigns on Etsy, which I obtained a while back. It has been a place-holder for Ianus in certain cases (e.g. PantheaCon this year), and I had planned to put it on a multi-piece necklace that I planned to wear at all times; until then, it was generally resting on the shrine. I realized it would do the same thing as the pin, in essence, but because the cord it came with is rather small, it would be more like a choker on me. So, for that first day, I managed to loop it around a few of the buttons on my jackety-shirt-like thing I was wearing (which may be one of my “clergy” outfits for the future!), not unlike a pocketwatch on a chain if one was wearing such an item. I took it off at the end of the day, as I would with the pin, and left it on the shrine for the night. But the next day, I wasn’t wearing something that would quite be able to have it worn in the same way, so instead I just wore it like a necklacechoker, and because it is not exactly easy to get on-and-off, I have been wearing it continuously (other than when in the shower) since then. It likewise has ways of letting me know that it is there all the time, and it pretty visible with almost everything I’ve been wearing ever since. It does exactly what the other piece does, without prompting questions about the Olympics–which is a plus! ;)

So, it looks like I have a new public symbol for my devotion to Antinous.

BUT.

I think this also might be showing me a new or different phase in my relationship with him…and, though I am reluctant to suggest it, I wonder if there is not some correlation with chakras involved.

Antinous “landed” in my third chakra area in 2008 or 2009. He was not visible to others there, but I had a sense of him afterwards. Interestingly, perhaps, this is the period when I first started making my Antinoan work public, and I think one of the landmarks of that in relation to Manipura-related matters is the “Prayer Against Persecution.”

Antinous’ image was worn by me over my heart from 2012 until 2015. This was visible to others, but it was something I could remove or put on at will. My role as a public priest increased greatly during this period, and my devotional practice likewise flowered, which might be appropriate to an Anahata-related path.

Now, Antinous and Hadrian’s janiform image is worn by me exactly at the level of my throat, and cannot be easily taken off. I feel as if I’m being called to a position of speaking more, not only for him (and other divine beings associated with him), but also for myself. So, perhaps this signifies a Visuddha-related focus to things for me in the not-too-distant future?

That is, of course, if Antinous cares about the chakras at all, and if this isn’t all just wishful thinking or over-reading the evidence.

I’d be interested in any thoughts on the matter any of you might have to share, certainly.

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | April 10, 2015

Megalensia Magna 2015

I had hoped to have this post done earlier in the day, but alas…things have not worked out that way for me on multiple occasions in recent history.

Since I already wrote a fairly decent fiction piece for Megalensia the other day, coming up with several more stories around that theme might tax my abilities to the breaking point, and we wouldn’t want that, at least for the sake of the deities who should be honored by my efforts rather than offended or inadequately honored by them. So, what to do instead?

Inspiration struck me as I was preparing to get into the shower earlier; I’m finding more and more that if I stand under the water for a short while, I tend to get a pretty reliable stream of inspiring thoughts and ideas of a devotional nature while doing so. Whether this is a kind of elemental balancing thing for me (since I’m rather “airy” most of the time), or an aspect of my grail-related interests and practices, or whether it is simply because the Nile (i.e. sacred water!) lead to the deification of Antinous, I can’t say for certain…but nonetheless, it is something which occurs with some regularity.

Remember the syncretistic aretalogy that I’ve been writing for Antinous in installments this calendar year, starting with Asklepios and going through others on each major syncretism festival? Well, there are several others that I have already missed out on doing (who aren’t necessarily on the Calendar), which I hope to make up for in the coming weeks and months, but which I may reserve for private use until the “book version” is released next year. But, it occurred to me that perhaps something similar should exist…for the Goddesses connected to Antinous.

It seems especially appropriate to inaugurate this practice publicly this year on a date honoring Cybele/Magna Mater, because there is one depiction of Antinous which exists showing him specifically as one of her priests. He would no doubt, thus, have been envisioned singing her praises at some stage, and here is my attempt to illustrate that. I will include these Antinoan Goddess hymns in the syncretistic aretalogy book as well, and will create the ones for the festivals that have already passed (which I’ll reserve for the book) and which are yet to come as well for the rest of this year.

So, here goes! And Felix Megalensia to you all!

Antinous to Cybele: Hail I say, and Praises I give
to you, O Cybele, great Magna Mater,
for the gifts you give to mortals and to the Gods,
and the blessings which you have given to me.

Because of you, I have become more than a mere man
though some would think me less of a man;
Because of you, I have become mad with devotion
to Goddesses, like a maenad in her frenzy.
Because of you, I have become a friend to Attis
and a hunting-mate of Agdistis, great in power.
Because of you, lions have been yoked to my chariot
and bulls are offered by me in sacrifice to you.
Because of you, my cities owe their safety
to the presence of your blessed black stone.

Hail I say, and Praises I give, and Thanks I express and proclaim
to you, Cybele, the Magna Mater, of Phrygia and of Rome!

Cybele: And praise to you, Antinous!
I give you the timbal and the cymbal and the scourge
for ecstatic processions of entranced devotees!

Antinous (and all): Hail, Praise, and Thanks to you, Magna Mater!

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