Posted by: aediculaantinoi | July 28, 2015

Livin’ in The Red Lotus Library…?!?

I humbly apologize to the late great Godfather of Soul, James Brown, for the variation in my subject line here on his song, “Livin’ in America.” Yes, I am in fact doing that, too, and have been for the majority of my life; but, I’m finding that I’m in a different situation now, and it bears further discussion, along with a few links to other interesting things I have seen today.

As a health, well-being, and *HOW THE FUCK ARE YOUR EYES DOING!* update, I had my most recent follow-up from surgery appointment yesterday (Monday the 27th), and it was the quickest exam by the doctor I’ve yet had. My right eye has not improved further since the surgery, and so he did two more injections, bringing the grand total to nine: five in the right eye, four in the left. (Thanks very much, Odin–if it had also been on a Wednesday, that would have been perfect!) Interestingly, I have noticed a slight improvement since then, especially after I had a nap for a few hours not long following the injections (which usually helps to relieve the discomfort a bit for the remainder of the day afterwards, if I can overcome it enough to sleep, which I was able to yesterday for other reasons…on which, more in a moment). I have my next appointment in early September; if I am still having a lot of trouble by October or November, then I might have to do another surgery (and if I do, I hope it is after Fall quarter ends for teaching, because it would be horrible to try and fit it in while I’m teaching two classes online and possibly two in person during that time.) So, while it isn’t all bad, nonetheless, there are still some difficulties that may be ongoing for a while.

But, in other news, as of yesterday, I am more-or-less completely moved in to my new place in Oak Harbor. Friday, we moved my things from where I was living, and I stayed overnight here; there wasn’t a lot of furniture yet, so the only thing I could really do was set up one of my shrines–the Antinous one, of course, though it still isn’t completely set up at this point–and I also did the Tetrad++ and friends shrine. (The others are happening slowly…) On Saturday, we cleaned out my storage unit and moved almost everything here; a few things were discarded, and a small number–about a 3′ x 3′ x 3′ amount of them (several boxes and a bag or two)–are now in a friend and former student’s storage unit here in town, which I’ll bring back in August at some point once as much as the rest of what is here now is sorted and put away. While I *technically* had room to fit those things in here, too, I’d have had to try pretty hard to do so, and it would be even less-fun to navigate this place than it is now. It’s kind of like those tile games you got at the dentist as a prize when you were a kid, that have a 3 x 3 or a 4 x 4 square, and you had to slide them around in the right order to make a puzzle picture, but there is only one tile space empty to work with…I am hoping to have some of the major things unloaded and in place by tomorrow, but I’m going to need *A TON* more shelves to get all the books out. (Not a literal ton, but likely at least eight banks of shelves that are roughly the size of the small folding ones I have now, if not more…)

While my library was pretty big in my last residence, I have lost a number of the shelves I had which are either now being used for shrines or were not mine to bring with me; and, some of them had books in stacks or in double rows in order to fit things. My library, as I think I’ve mentioned, has actually *NEVER* been all together in one place before since 1994, and that was when it was about 1/8 of the size it is now, I’d guess. I feel extremely privileged to be the custodian of such a collection–raggle-taggle though some of it is–and in taking some of it out today (parts of which haven’t been seen for between 5 and 8 years, if not longer in some cases), and having a few friends over briefly to just see what I’ve been able to get out in the last day or two, the books are being pretty loud in terms of crying out for attention. I am reminded of something that someone said at the Esoteric Book Conference last year or the year before, I think: that one of the great joys of having a library is not that one gets to make use of so many different books and to have them on-hand, but instead that the books themselves talk with each other, and there’s been a lot of that going on today. (And I’m sure Harahel talks with them, too!)

As I was getting ready to go to bed the second night I stayed here, I began to think forward to how the shrine room might be used for dream incubation, Antinoan or otherwise. Merely having thought about that, though, caused me to have a dream about Antinous a short while later (he often doesn’t need much coaxing from me to appear in dreams!), and it was an interesting experience, which I may devote an entire separate entry to in the near future…a few of you have already seen it/read about it, but I may introduce it for a larger audience soon. Needless to say, it was fascinating and beautiful, as my dream encounters with him always are.

I had been looking forward to having my own place for a long time because it would mean that I could have a dedicated shrine space, and a concentrated location of deliberately cultivated polytheist power and devotion for the Deities, for my own peace and feeling of sanctuary, and as a service to parts of my extended community who are respectful, understanding, and devotees themselves. I am still excited about that, and it is happening a bit slowly but we’ll get there by the end of the first week of August, I think (which is a good time to be doing so, I think). However, what I had not anticipated was that my books would overflow the main room of the apartment as much as they have and will. When I’ve had a few rooms to work with previously (in 2002-2005 when I was in Ireland in two different locations), separation of spaces was really effective for me in terms of making sure I worked on academic stuff in one area of the house, but only slept, read for fun, or did cultus in the bedroom, and only kept a small number of books there. It may in fact come about that there are more books in my bedroom here than in the front room, which also has a couch and a chair, a television, and a few other things (including a fairly good-sized collection of CDs, VHS tapes, and DVDs).

As much as I’d like to think of my new apartment as the physical manifestation of the Aedicula Antinoi (and likewise an aedicula of various other Deities as well), it is actually turning out to be a physical manifestation of The Red Lotus Library–and it’s not just full of the six books thus far published under that imprint (though they’re certainly here, too!). As I was saying to one of my friends earlier tonight: it is not, by any means, the Great Library of Alexandria, but it might be as close as Oak Harbor is likely to get to it for a while.

[Though in fairness, I know that there is at least one person on Whidbey Island who has a private library of something like 30,000 books, which is probably at least five times the size of mine, if not more…I don’t know the actual count at this point, but I hope to figure that out in the coming months!]

And now, those links I mentioned.

Over at Polytheist.com, there is an excellent article: Edward Butler’s “Principles of Mythological Hermeneutics,” which I think everyone should read.

And, Thenea over at the Magick from Scratch blog has written a lot of interesting pieces about apotheosis (a topic near and dear to my heart, for obvious reasons!), but the latest one, on divine allies and divine antagonists in apotheosis narratives, is especially intriguing.

I must see if I can empty 3 to 8 more boxes before I go to bed, and build at least one or two more shrines…plus a few other things, so off to it! :)

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | July 28, 2015

Poseidon and Antinous 2015

[July 23rd*]

Poseidon to Antinous: I give you the trident, that you may be powerful upon the seas.

Antinous: Hail and thanks to you, Poseidon, the Earth-Shaker and Lord of the Deep!

Because of you, I shall be a surety of wealth for the city of Corinth!

I will be the supplanter of Okeanos and Tethys.
I will be the father of horses–even Areion of Arcadia.
I will be the lover of Nerites amongst the sea deities.
I will be the erastes of Pelops amongst mortals, and his patron.
I will be the pleader for the release of Ares and Aphrodite from the chains of Hephaistos.
I will be the scourge of the city of Troy for failing to keep their contracts.
I will be the seducer of the mortal Gorgon, Medusa, and the reason for her apotropaic powers.
I will be the salvation of Leukothea, and the one who deifies Palaimon.
I will be the favorer of the cultus of Polydeukion in Corinth for the sake of Herodes Attikos.
I will delight in chariots and equestrian sports and the hippodrome.
Only Thetis shall stand between the success of my plans with Athena and Hera.

Hail and thanks to you, Poseidon!

Hail and thanks to you, Antinous!

“Poseidon” by James Lyons

[*: While I was incredibly busy on the 23rd getting ready to move starting on the 24th, this will not be the first time I’ve forgotten Neptunalia and the festival of Antinous and Poseidon’s syncretism. I suspect it is because Poseidon is the deity to whom he is syncretized that is, in many respects, the least obvious. He is of the “older” generation of deities, usually seen bearded in most ancient depictions of him, and in many ways some of his behaviors are the antithesis of what one might expect of a deity like Antinous…and yet, THE CORINTHIAN COIN! So, I hope that both deities, and the other heroes and deities named in the piece here, are pleased with my efforts, late though they may be this year!]

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | July 25, 2015

Dies Caniculares 2015

[About 99% of my things are now moved into the apartment, and the next month will be spent trying to organize all of it, and likely getting rid of a fair few things…probably not books, but in any case…!?! My shrines are still not fully installed yet, but the Antinous one is up, as are some of the Egyptians, including Hermanubis. In any case, here’s some syncretistic aretalogical bits for the day!]

tondodeparture

Agreus to Antinous: I give you all of the skills needed for the hunt, in grace and in strength, in speed and agility, and in respect for those who are killed.

Antinous: Hail and thanks to you, Agreus, who delights in the wild chase!

Because of you, I shall be called Antinous Kynegetikos, Master of Hounds–The Hunter!

I will be the trainer of great coursing hounds with Hekate.
I will be the tamer of Molossians and Vertragi with Herakles and Hermes.
I will be proficient in the bow with Artemis, Apollon, and Eros.
I will be the ranger of woods and mountains in Arcadia with Pan.
I will be the slayer of boars and bears with Zagreus.
I will be the setter of snares with Silvanus and Faunus.
I will be the victor against lions in Egypt with Neith and Pakhet.
I will be the sculptured stone-celebrated sacrificer on arches in Rome.
I will be the recipient of offerings from those who wish to excel in sport.
I will be the great imperial hunter amongst Trajan and Hadrian.

Hail and thanks to you, Agreus!

Hail and thanks to you, Antinous!

Aristaios to Antinous: I give you the skills of the bee-keeper, so that you may overflow in the sweetness of honey.

Antinous: Hail and thanks to you, Aristaios, bestower of many excellent boons to humanity!

Because of you, I will learn to propitiate the Gods for aversion of disaster!

I will be the prophesied and auspicious birth foretold by Chiron.
I will be the son of Apollon and Cyrene.
I will be the child of the divine pursuing wolf.
I will be the offspring of a lion-slaying nymph.
I will be the inventor of cheese.
I will be the alleviator of the scorching heat of summer’s dog-days.
I will be the one who institutes sacrifices to Zeus to bring summer rains.
I will be the relief of those afflicted with Dionysos’ curse for slaying Ikarios.
I will be the father of Aktaion with Autonoë.
I will be called Agreus and Nomios, hunter and shepherd.

Hail and thanks to you, Aristaios!

Hail and thanks to you, Antinous!

Adonis to Antinous: I give you the lyre of my grandfather Kinyras.

Antinous: Hail and thanks to you, Adonis, son of Smyrna!

Because of you, I will be the lover of Aphrodite!

I will be the fosterling of Persephone.
I will be the darling of Dionysos.
I will be the bone of contention between feuding Goddesses.
I will be known with the aroma of myrrh since the time of my birth.
I will be the bearer of the fennel stalk and the lettuce plant.
I will be the red anemone in the shedding of my blood.
I will be the object of anger for Ares and Apollon.
I will be the one castrated by the marauding boar.
I will be the father of Beroe and Priapus.
I will be called the Chthonic Lord on Cyprus.

Hail and thanks to you, Adonis!

Hail and thanks to you, Antinous!

Hermanubis to Antinous: I give you the keys to pass into the Underworld in Egypt and in Greece.

Antinous: Hail and thanks to you, Hermanubis, guardian before the gates!

Because of you, I will be celebrated on the festival of the rising of Sirius!

I will be the son of Serapis and Isis.
I will be the elder brother of Harpocrates.
I will be in the form of a youth crowned with a modius.
I will be in the form of a cynocephalus.
I will be clad in a lorica and will carry spear and torch.
I will be the protector of the dead on their downward journey.
I will be the lord of the necropolis.
I will be the herald of the inundation of the Nile.
I will be the assistant embalmer with Anubis.
I will be the chthonic messenger with Hermes.

Hail and thanks to you, Hermanubis!

Hail and thanks to you, Antinous!

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | July 22, 2015

Listening to the Land…

We are in the second day of a four-day festival to Hathor and Somtous at the moment, and while I’d really love to do something spectacular for the entirety of it, it looks like the best I’ll be able to do is a little something on Friday, once the shrines are re-built in my new home, and I’ll do some devotional writing for that purpose on the occasion as well…possibly poetry, possibly fiction, possibly even both–who knows (but Hathor Herself)? ;)

I have just over one full day of habitation left here, and while I am not as far along on packing as I had hoped, today I did some really important things in the process of getting ready to leave. I was out at my storage unit, and prepared some of the loose things out there for transport by making sure they were in boxes and such. I re-learned that I do actually have a file cabinet out there (which I did not remember for sure), so that’s one less thing to have to obtain once I have moved…though I’ll need probably two more to fit all the stuff (in terms of photocopied articles and such) I’ve got.

I also did something I should have done ages ago: I got all of the sacred images I have out there and brought them here. Even though I did not have room to properly enshrine them in my current place of residence, nonetheless they should have been here and not out there. So, my deepest apologies to Astarte, Kali, Ganesha, Ganymede, Diana (though I have an image of her here already), Hekate (the same applies), and likewise to Cú Chulainn, whose designated devotional sword has been out there, too. Now they are here, and will be in the “first wave” of things to be taken to the new place, so to speak, and thus will be safely enshrined there by Friday night rather than arriving on Saturday or Sunday after everyone else has already been enshrined.

After that, I went to Mt. Erie. I was there a few weeks ago with Jaina Bee, and was going to collect the soil for Many Gods West, but for various reasons did not do so, and felt it was not the right time. I’m really glad I didn’t, because a lot has happened since then, including my plans to have a “land and land spirits” shrine at the new place emerging, which is really important and I (foolishly, again!) hadn’t thought of previously. I’m going to get a nice photo of Mt. Erie for that, and likewise will have a small bowl of sacred earth from it, and likewise from other local places. But, now given that my move is imminent, it was even more important to take my leave of the mountain and its spirits formally, especially given this.

So, after looking around a bit, and looking toward Whidbey, I went to the area where the former “heart of the mountain” nature shrine was located. Before going into it and crossing beneath the fallen trees that now block the way in, I made offerings of tobacco to the mountain for entry, and was granted it. As I walked in, I noticed that the tree which fell was another double-tree, part of which had fallen several years back, and on whose log I had sat to do divination on previous occasions. It had fallen in such a way that it passed between two other trees–the likelihood that it would have fallen at that perfectly narrow angle is pretty slim, I think–in order to then fall upon and crush the other fallen tree that made the natural torii-like arch as it had fallen between the forks of another conjoined tree. One gets the suspicion very quickly that all of this was almost deliberate on the part of the mountains’ spirits and the wind and the trees…

Once I was close to the site of the former natural shrine–which could still be used, I think, even though what is required now to enter that sanctuary is a deep bow (and perhaps that was the point–?!?) in order to bend over far enough to go under the newly-fallen tree–I began making profuse offerings. I felt like it would be good to sing, but I wasn’t sure how to sing in ways that would be culturally permissible for me, so instead I just spoke and offered a lot of tobacco to the mountain, to the trees and winds, plants and animals, and the ancestors in the land and of the land, including all of the indigenous nations whose names I know that were in the area and probably frequented the mountain as a holy place, to their memory and maintenance, and asking for their blessing on me as I transfer my residence from one island to the next. I then asked them, with further offerings, to make their will known by divination, vision, audition, or the actions of the wind whether I was allowed to take some of the sacred soil from the area for my home shrine and for Many Gods West. I did divination, and got an absolute “no” for just obtaining both. Soil is at a true premium on the rocky crest of the mountain, so perhaps that was the wrong question to ask. I asked if I could take some of the fallen pine needles and plant matter that make up the ground for my home shrine, and I got TETRAX, which in Ephesia Grammata terms means “not now/later/in time,” which meant something even more than I had expected: i.e. I will have to come back, and thus my relationship with the mountain and its spirits is not over (thank all the Deities!). I then asked if I could take some of the material for Many Gods West, and got an enthusiastic DAMNAMENEUS (there is not a non-enthusiastic version of it, though!), and then thanked the mountain’s spirits again, collected a small amount of the matter (including a pinecone), and then made further offerings at the spots from which I had collected it. I said my goodbye to the mountain for the moment, and then made my way back.

I suspect that having my new shrine in place first at my new home will be the prerequisite for then going up and obtaining the material–I have to make good on my promise of actually having it in place, I think, which is a fair condition to set for being entrusted with that material. So, this makes me happy to know that we have not “called it quits,” so to speak, and that Mt. Erie will continue to be a place that is sacred to me, even though I will no longer be living in its foothills.

[That’s the southern face of Mt. Erie, as seen from the shores of Pass Lake, which is about a mile away or so from it. This view is the one I see for a few seconds on my way to work on the bus if I look at the right moment when we’re driving…but which I’ll see much more rarely now that I’m moving, and that particular bus route will no longer exist, which is why I’m moving in the first place. Just to the right of the right tower on the top is where the “heart of the mountain” is, in case you wondered.]

And now, back to the preparations for moving…

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | July 21, 2015

Sometimes A Laugh…

I’m beginning to lose the will to live with all the packing…and how much longer some of it is taking than expected. Ugh.

So, I saw this video earlier today when procrastinating trying to keep informed about the world, and I just started laughing my head off. Nothing like a sousaphone to bring a smile to someone’s face, and make people who are “marching” along with it look like idiots, even if they’re not in clown shoes and riding elephants or the like…and these shit-bags deserve to be made to look even more foolish than they already are from their actions and words.

I am all in favor of creative musical counter-protests and the like, so this warmed my heart, not to mention clouded my vision because I was laughing so hard I was crying initially. ;)

And speaking of mindless sheep herding themselves along: here’s some sheep that are anything but mindless, doing anything but herding themselves along…though the one intrepid sheep, I’m sure, inspired the other sheep to join in the excitement that is circular hay-bales in Ireland.

It’s true, you know: we often did have to make our own fun in Ireland, and while mine never involved farm animals or hay bales, nonetheless, when the livestock decide to try inspiring new nursery rhymes, you know you’re in a good place. ;)

Finally, one last thing that I find hysterical and even farcical (only my reaction does not cease with simply laughing). Notice the last announcement here, and tell me how ridiculous it is that an atheist is going to the World Parliament of Religions to talk on behalf of pagans about how pagans feel about the environment, but a real polytheist who actually acknowledges the existence of and worships many different deities has to raise money to be able to go. While there’s still more than a month to go on my fundraiser, I have not made any further progress on contributions for more than a week now, so if you can help, it is much appreciated–and spread the word if you can’t contribute, please!

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | July 21, 2015

Confirmation of the Tetrad++ 2015

Antinous to the Tetrad++: I give to you a piece of my soul and of my body, a portion of my love and of my power, a share in my strife, and the fulness of my acceptance!

The Tetrad++: Hail and Thanks to you, Antinous, first father of the Tetrad++, the meeting place of the many gods!

Panpsyche: Because of you, I shall be a child of light without shadow.

I shall be the voice for those who have been downtrodden and abused.
I shall be the beacon for those who face persecution.
I shall be the hope for those who struggle to find their true nature.

Panhyle: Because of you, I shall be the firm foundation of the earth for the strength of many.

I shall be the matter from which authentic lives are built.
I shall be the grounding in space upon which relationships are enacted.
I shall be the locus of liberation for those who yearn for the truth.

Paneros: Because of you, I shall be the overflowing fountain of love throughout the cosmos.

I shall be the space between, within, and beyond those spaces to which people have been limited.
I shall be the unifier of worlds and the walker between them.
I shall be the sun which transforms every heart I reach and enlivens each flesh I touch.

Pancrates: Because of you, I shall be the strong column upholding the universe.

I shall be the might of combination and cooperation loosed upon the peoples.
I shall be the force of time whose potential is feared but whose exercise of power is gentle.
I shall be the speaker who grants freedom with “yes” and draws boundaries with “no.”

Paneris: Because of you, I shall stir every system that has become stagnant into creativity.

I shall be the adversary in affection and the advocate in contrariness.
I shall be the dancer upon conventions that crumble in the wake of my shadow.
I shall be the words that convey the difficult truths in voice and in silence.

Panprosdexia: Because of you, I shall bring light to darkness, and what has been enlightened to dark.

I shall be the absence that is feared in shadows but knows fulness in emptiness.
I shall be the releaser and liberator from every bond that has restrained the innocents.
I shall be the end and the culmination of the cycle of divine being.

Hail and Thanks to you, Antinous, first father of the Tetrad++!

Hail and thanks to you, the Deities of the Tetrad++ Group!

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | July 20, 2015

Birth of Alexander the Great 2015

“Come to me, my children,” Zeus said to Apollon and Artemis, “and bring your mother along as well.”

Leto was surprised to have been invited together with her offspring to the presence of Zeus. Hera must be elsewhere, she thought…she imagined the shrieking that might occur in the heavens if she had seen this entire part of the divine family together with Zeus lacking supervision.

“What is it, father?” Artemis asked, somewhat blandly. She was no Athena, and Zeus knew it as well as Artemis herself did.

“A child is about to be born,” Zeus said.

Apollo raised his hand and began to open his mouth, but he paused in mid-gape as Zeus continued.

“You are forbidden from saying a word on this, on pain of Tartaros, Apollon!”

“Very well, then,” Apollon said, rolling his eyes.

“And for what purpose am I here?” Leto asked.

“I simply wish to see your reactions as what ensues occurs,” Zeus said, concealing the truth of the matter–he missed her and wanted to see her beautiful face once again, remembering the endless Hyperborean days of the past when he courted her. A quail holding its own tail-feathers that it had plucked out itself in its beak then alighted before Leto, and she looked on the familiar bird with some trepidation.

“I place before you a conundrum,” Zeus said.

“What?” Artemis asked, now actually annoyed and exceptionally short with her father.

“You have favored certain men in the past, have you not?”

Artemis sighed heavily and looked away, slightly downwards. “Yes…what of it?”

“Did you sigh for Orion and Hippolytus as well?” Zeus asked with a smile on his face.

“As much as Apollon raged for your killing of Asklepios,” Artemis shot back.

Apollon was about to speak again, but Zeus waved his hand toward him.

“Then I will ask you: would you sigh as deeply for this one to be born as well?”

“And why would I? I don’t even know him and haven’t even seen him.”

“He is my son,” Zeus said.

“And you’ve had thousands–what makes him so special that you wish me to favor him?”

“The choice before you will determine how special he becomes.”

“And how is that?”

“Behold,” Zeus said, and the assembled deities saw before them a view of Artemis’ temple in Ephesus, which she had taken from Upis. It had been recently rebuilt, and was now a marvel to behold amongst a land full of temples and shrines to innumerable deities. “This is how your temple now appears. It can continue to do so, for as long as you like; or, it might have to be remade again soon.”

“Why?” Artemis asked.

“A fire will destroy it soon.”

“Well, knowing that, I shall prevent it from burning, and Hekate will assist me.”

“But, the birth of this son of mine is now occurring as well, and it will not go forward without your help.”

“What is the matter?”

“Direct divine assistance is needed if the child is to survive. Olympias is a woman of sound body, but the child may only have success if he is assisted now at this crucial moment.”

“So send Eileithyia to assist the birth, like any other.”

“No–for if this child is to be as great and widely hailed as even Apollon, then he will need to be assisted by you in his birth, just as you assisted your mother.”

Leto looked up from the quail and had a flash of recognition, which caught Zeus’ eye, and he likewise motioned toward her to not say a word.

“So, my choice is to stand by and do nothing about the fire in my greatest temple, or assist in the birth of a child who might go on to be as famous and widely hailed as my brother.”

“Yes.”

“WHAT ABOUT ME! How will this child benefit me?”

“He will be of such great fame that he may rebuild your temple in Ephesus, and spread your name further than ever, even into India and Egypt.”

“More shrines to appropriate and other Goddesses to depose, then? What interest is that of mine?” Artemis was truly frustrated at this point.

“Even now, Herostratus has kindled the fire, but it will not blaze up unless I allow it, and unless you allow it.”

“I shall send Hekate to help the child, and will keep the fire from spreading myself.”

“Is that wise?” Zeus asked.

“Then I will help the child to be born, and will send Hekate to keep the fire from spreading.”

“Is that wise?” Zeus asked.

Artemis looked at her brother and her mother, but both were effectively muzzled and gagged by their father, even though both could speak if they wished. They simply shrugged and shook their heads at her as she began to panic.

“You are worse than a horse’s arse, father! You deprived me of Kallisto, and have done no small number of wrongs on me in the past without asking permission, and now you tell me of your divine plans, and ask me to choose, knowing that it is already ordained how this will all come out? Do you delight in torture and in lording your power over others?”

“If I answered that, I would give too much away,” Zeus said glibly.

Artemis smiled suddenly. “Very well–I shall take Hekate, and we will see to the safe birth of this child from Polyxena Myrtale Olympias. If my temple in Ephesus shall burn, it is of no consequence to me–temples are raised and razed in equal measure over time, and each rises more grand than it falls before. This child will be amazing, delivered by two of the greatest Kourotrophoi amongst the Goddesses. And all shall know the paternity of this child as divine!”

“Very well, then!” Zeus concluded. They saw a bolt of lightning strike the temple in Ephesus, and it began to burn; what had been a small trail of black smoke emanating from its roof before now became a blazing inferno. Herostratus would pay dearly for his attempt to become famous.

*****

The two midwives announced to Olympias her son’s birth.

“It’s a boy, and he’ll make a fine man someday!” the first one said.

“Oh, a son…a worthy successor to his father!” Olympias said, sweat still pouring from her forehead.

“By the shape of his cord, my queen, it seems he was divinely conceived…by a serpent?” the second midwife said.

“Yes–I cannot speak of what occurred, but it is a God who begat him upon me.”

“We shall say nothing to the king of this,” the first midwife said.

“However,” the second continued, “I wonder based on the shape of the cord which God it was who conceived him.”

“Dionysos, no doubt,” Olympias said.

“No, my queen, not him, for it lacks the twining shape of the vine.”

“Then…could it be Sabazios?” Olympias queried.

“Other than the form of the cord itself, it has no resemblance at its end to a serpent.

“The king met me when we were initiated at Samothrace to the Kabeiroi–perhaps they have come to me in serpentine form?”

“No, for though there may be a twin involved,” the second midwife began, with the first shooting her a look that would have blazed divine fire if the eyes themselves had been those of a Goddess rather than only the personality motivating them being divine, “but it is not them, either.”

“Then who could it be?” Olympias asked.

“Think carefully, my queen,” the second midwife continued. “How did Dionysos come to be conceived by Semele?”

“Then…could it have been Zeus?” Olympias was panting in anticipation.

“Not simply Zeus, my queen,” the second midwife said. “There is the lightning shape in it, but also these nodes are like the horns of a ram. It is Zeus-Ammon, and the child will be as great in Egypt as he will be amongst the Hellenes and throughout Asia Minor, and even beyond.”

The child was placed in the mother’s arms, and the two midwives retired from the chamber, leaving the new family in the care of Olympias’ slaves and nurses.

Before the divine presences departed from them, the two midwives looked at each other.

The first said to the second, “But is it true? Did Zeus-Ammon, or only Zeus himself conceive the child?”

“They will never know the difference,” the second said, “and in any case, it is Father’s own fault for leaving such an important task in the hands of such fickle and feckless women.”

“Have you impacted the future of this child by giving him privilege over Egypt?” Hekate asked Artemis in the last throes of divine possession.

“Yes, and not only for this child, but for all of us,” Artemis said as she relinquished the control of the midwife’s body to her, and rejoined the deities on Olympus.

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | July 18, 2015

…and, Erasing a Bit of The Line…!?!

It never fails: as soon as I say that I will be taking a short hiatus, ALL THE THINGS then happen…

First, a personal/family note: one of my sisters was supposed to have a baby in early September, but not unlike her 2 1/2-year-old, this one is going to be early…she’s been fighting off going into labor for about the last two months, but it looks like it will be this week sometime, and possibly in the next day…difficult to know. In any case, please place any prayers you can with deities of medicine and healing for mother and child, and likewise with deities of childbirth and protection of infants–Artemis, Hekate, Eileithyia, Heqet, Taweret, Bes, and any and all others you might think of, have in your own particular traditions, or feel may be of assistance in this regard. The longer the baby stays in, so to speak, the better off she’ll be, so let’s hope and pray she does not arrive until at least Monday, if not later in the week or month.

And next, a whole pile of links, some of which I’ll be coming back to eventually, and others of which I think all of you just absolutely need to see.

Many Gods West is in two weeks, and here’s the program! Exciting stuff! :)

Over at The Wild Hunt today, Crystal Blanton wrote about several collective efforts to bring visibility to issues of race, trans* suicide, and other matters within pagan and wider communities. Thank you, Crystal, and to everyone mentioned there for this important and excellent work! May it be blessed and favored by many different Deities, and may everyone in the human communities enthusiastically welcome, support, and positively respond to it!

In relation to matters of institutional and cultural racism in the U.S., this powerful piece by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II needs to be read and understood by everyone. Do not for a moment be put off by the rather shocking title–read on and take in what he says. It’s spot-on, sobering, and superlatively important.

On a less-serious note, there is a webseries based on J. Sheridan LeFanu’s novella Carmilla, which was one of the first lesbian vampire stories…in the 1800s! LeFanu was an Anglo-Irish horror writer, just like Bram Stoker, who has had parts of his material interpreted in lesbian fashions for several decades now as well. The webseries has a more modern collegiate setting, and also a genderqueer character, apparently! So, yeah…perhaps not a bad way to while away a few hours, if you are interested in the subject matter or the premise.

Here’s an excellent piece at Comics Alliance by Andrew Wheeler on the fallacy of queer characters needing to be “organically” introduced into comics or comics-based films. And here’s an awesome excerpt from its opening–it only gets better after this:

We’re nowhere to be found in the Star Trek movies, or the Star Wars movies, or Jurassic Park, or The Fast & The Furious. To the best of my knowledge we’re not in Mission: Impossible, or Planet of the Apes, or Die Hard, or The Dark Knight, or the Transformers movies. We’re not in Lord of the Rings, despite how it may seem, and we’re not obviously in Harry Potter, though the author says we’re there. We’re not in Spider-Man, and somehow we’re not even in the X-Men movies, though they are at least partly about us. We might be in The Hunger Games.

Many of these fictional worlds have (ridiculous!) superpowers, aliens, dragons, monsters, and the like…and yet our actual world has queer people of all sorts, and we are not represented in so many of them. That doesn’t come down to the choice–of which there are tons in writing fiction–of whether to include queer characters, it is a deliberate choice to exclude them, especially when several of the comics that have been made into films in the last 10 years have definite queer characters in them who have simply not been included. A good read, in any case…

And, one of the best interviews I’ve read in a while, with our old favorite and Sanctus-to-be John Cameron Mitchell, detailing–amongst other things–how Hedwig is not actually about “the trans* experience,” how he’s working on a film of a Neil Gaiman story, and complete with a recording from a party last year of him doing “The Origin of Love” (yes, I cried a bit). Go read this!

And, speaking of films by John Cameron Mitchell, queerness and gender matters, and the lovely folks in them, here’s an interview by Joy Episalla with Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, which talks about (amongst other things!) the Galli, trans*-ness, and capitalism and its discontents. Fabulous stuff!

There’s a documentary by David Thorpe featuring David Sedaris, George Takei, and others called Do I Sound Gay? which is, not surprisingly, about gay men and their relationship to their voices. Interesting stuff!

Finally, check out this extra credit question by a college professor on the final exam. I immediately recognized it as a case of prisoner’s dilemma, but the students this year did not, and did exactly what the selfish, greedy majority always does…it’s also known as “the tragedy of the commons.” People never learn…

And, that shall do it for me now. As this posts in the wee hours, I’ll likely be packing still…

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | July 17, 2015

Drawing a Line

In one week’s time–if, indeed, I am asleep at this hour–I will be having the last bit of somnolence at my current residence. I believe I will have formally taken up residence the previous day by paying rent and obtaining the key, but the actual move will take place on Friday, and then after a brief rest on Saturday, my storage unit’s contents will then join me on Sunday.

Given the many significances, both public and private, in our Calendar for yesterday (the 16th of July), I am rather disappointed that I only had the time and energy for two posts, the latter of which was only a kind of update/news item on my latest “Speaking of Syncretism” column.

The truth is, I’m getting extremely worn down at present. I didn’t even finish packing a box with books earlier before I just couldn’t take it any longer, and started to cough with the acid reflux difficulties I have when situations of extreme stress come about.

The impending move, and my transference of residence from Anacortes to Oak Harbor is becoming more and more oppressive and stressful in a variety of ways; I had been doing pretty good with it until earlier last night, when a few conversations on logistics (not well handled by some people involved) demonstrated to me that this move from Fidalgo Island to Whidbey Island and crossing Deception Pass may as well be crossing the fucking Atlantic Ocean in a rowboat with the Statue of Liberty in tow as far as the people involved are concerned. Given that old phrase “real friends will help you move,” it appears that I have very few real friends; I know the ones who would be happy to carry a box or two are all so far away and unavailable that I don’t begrudge them one bit, but it makes me all the more frustrated with those who are nearer…particularly the ones who said they would help and are now not answering texts and such.

I’ve also got a good bit of stuff to do online these days for my college class; both Summer quarter and in the Fall, I’m doing mostly online, which means I’m “mostly angry” as a result…In-person classes are infinitely more rewarding and engaging, despite the set schedule and so forth, which has some of its own logistical quirks and annoyances. Despite my often frequent blogging, I have to say that online interactions are something that I find nearly impossible to make a virtue as a result of their necessity.

Thus, for the next few days, and likely for much of the rest of the month, I’m likely to be posting once a day on major festivals, and possibly not-at-all the rest of the days…which is too bad, because I was hoping to clear my draft posts out in the near future, and intended to do so before my “blogiversary” on August 1st. I used to never use the “Save Draft” and “Quick Draft” function on WordPress, but I have been using it constantly since the beginning of the calendar year, and have often been a month or more off of some festival posts, as you all know…

Given that Silvanus and various other parts of the festivals yesterday are about drawing lines and setting boundaries, I think I’m going to have to do this, publicly, here, in order to stick with it and not feel guilty on the days when I’m not posting something. I have done this on other occasions, as many of you know, particularly in the last calendar year when I’ve had a lot going on or difficulties with my vision and so forth (which are still persisting, incidentally…my next medical appointment to determine the prognosis is in the last week of this month), and so I’m having to do it again now.

One last parting set of thoughts for the next few days. As I was remarking last week when I announced I would be moving, one thing I’m really looking forward to is setting up and maintaining the shrine room for Antinous and many other deities. According to my current plans, I’m going to have about 11-13 separate shrines in there, mostly of a “pantheonic” nature, but a few which will be exclusively for individuals (e.g. hero shrines for Cú Chulainn and Memnon). I am going to check the exact size of the room in the next week to make sure everything will fit as I am hoping it all will, and I’m even planning ahead on what to put on the walls and such, up to and including images representing each side of the Obelisk of Antinous, which I have not had up in a space I’ve been inhabiting on a continuous basis since I was in Michigan in 2010 and resolved to make my entire living space–small and superlatively modest though it was–a shrine of Antinous, mostly to good effect in terms of protecting the space but also fostering certain quite amazing spiritual experiences that have deeply marked my practices and devotional interests ever since.

There will also be a bedside shrine in my bedroom, and likely at least one semi-public shrine in the main room of the apartment for coming-and-going and so forth…but that space is mostly going to be dominated by my immense library. The last time I had all of my books visible to me in one particular area (my bedroom) and outside of boxes was in Oak Harbor in 1994, when I was just about to leave for college. It is strange that I will be in the same place, no more than about a mile from where that last occurred, when an identical (but much larger-scaled) situation will be taking place. Just as my first non-college-I-was-attending-related employment took place not a quarter mile from where I was literally born and took my first breath, so too with this. I suspect that my own fate, in various ways, is deeply tied to Oak Harbor in manners I cannot entirely perceive of at present. So it is…

I will do my best to answer comments and such, as well as e-mail, in the meantime, certainly, but if I have not posted for a few days (and, at present, until next Monday), don’t be surprised. I hope you all are well, and are healthy, rested, un-stressed, not too hot, and enjoy the company of family and friends in the meantime, and I will keep you all in my prayers for blessing by Antinous and many other divine beings in the meantime, and would ask that you do likewise for me! :)

My latest post in the “Speaking of Syncretism” column at Polytheist.com has just gone up, and it’s called “Syncretism and Signs of the Times.”

Notice something about that title: its a bit plain, simple, and may even seem boring. The article is anything but, however, and this is deliberately so, given that one of the posts that contributed to me writing this one had a very purposefully “clickbait” title over at a website that has a pagan section but is interfaith in focus.

In my piece, I talk about zeitgeists, not just as the metaphorical spirits of an age, but instead as literal divine beings–the temporal equivalent of what spirits of land and place are to spatial engagements of spirituality. Like some other recent articles around the blogosphere, I talk about Pan, the Morrígan (though not as much), and Columbia in relation to spirits of various ages, but also Roma, Antinous, and what I think might be the spirit of atheism, which will never become a full deity because atheists refuse to realize they are doing religion in their attempts at anti-religion. (Ironic, eh?)

As important as this discussion might be within the context of the various other posts that are out there, it is an important theological development and matter to consider in itself, and I hope it is seen in its own context in that fashion as well.

It’s not likely to be clicked on as much as some of the other articles that have talked about such matters–what can I say? there seems to be a fad for such things at the moment (!?!)–but that’s never why I write these things. Comment if you like over there…or here, if you’d prefer.

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