Posted by: aediculaantinoi | June 30, 2016

What Is To Come…

I’m about to be even more allusive, circumspect, and vague in my words than in the various hints in my last poetic post…so, stand by.

In a few hours, I’m leaving for the airport, and will be catching a flight in the morning to Las Vegas. I’ve never been there, and over the next two days, the weather report indicates it will be in the neighborhood of 108 degrees…eeesh! I survived that temperature (barely!) in the vicinity of Seattle a few years back, so hopefully it being a “dry heat” and the place where air conditioning indoors is a necessity rather than a luxury, I’ll get through it okay.

I won’t say what I’m going to be doing down there, but it may or may not have to do with some of the following topics: polytheism, divination, gender, the Eleusinian Mysteries, queerness, reincarnation, Irish stuff…and who knows what else. 😉 If Antinous can get in on any of it, I’m sure He will, and it is my intention to introduce Him to the proceedings if possible, whether or not the connections are direct.

I will be staying in the Luxor, in one of the pyramid rooms…that should be a trip. (When I think of Luxor, I think “Memnon and His Colossoi”…yeah, I’m a weird creature.) It turns out the biggest summer gay party in Vegas takes place at the Luxor’s pool, on Sunday afternoon…and I’m flying out Sunday morning. Oh well. Since I’m not “exactly gay,” and am certainly too old, unfortunately haired, and out-of-shape, I’d likely not be too welcome there anyway, at least amongst those whom I’d be the most interested in seeing scantily clad and soaking wet, but I’m not going to let that bother me.

Nice, eh?  This will not be me, but perhaps I can enjoy a view similar to this at some stage during the trip…?!?

Nice, eh? This will not be me, but perhaps I can enjoy a view similar to this at some stage during the trip…?!?

It turns out that divination done at the World Parliament of Religions back in October may have hinted at the possibility of this trip…who knows? I’ll be very curious to see what all shakes out with it.

But, one thing is for certain: if all goes to plan, I’ll be joining the likes of Joseph Campbell, Robert Anton Wilson, Charles Tart, Charles Musès, Terence McKenna, Ram Das, Jean Huston, and a great many others that I consider interesting and important luminaries of the late 20th/early 21st centuries (and, sadly, all but three of the previously listed are no longer with us), and perhaps–in certain respects–even surpassing them in terms of particular quantitative measures (which it would be revealing too much to discuss at present!). Who knows? We shall see…

So, if you’d like to theorize about these cryptic matters below, feel free. I do plan to check in online intermittently throughout the trip.

And, for those of you who might be in Las Vegas, if you might be interested in meeting up perhaps on Friday, let me know! I don’t have any definite plans for that day at this stage (though I’ll know that more certainly as of Thursday afternoon), and Saturday is the only day that will definitely be mostly full/spoken for, to my knowledge, at this stage. If you fall into this category, and would like to e-mail me directly rather than comment, please write to aediculaantinoi [at] hotmail [dot] com. :)

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | June 29, 2016

Hero-Feast of Spartacus 2016

Freedom For All

Spartacus could feel something seething in his blood,
his breath uneven, his mind swimming in a haze of white
in the moment before he broke his chains,
a thousand images and thoughts waging their battles…

Was it an equites on the borders of Gaul
fighting to keep Mauretanians at bay some time to come,
or was it his own pulse in some new land
pounding in his head as bodies fall to the ground?

Was it a fire licking at the torso of a woman teacher
also in Gaul, her skin perfect as a pearl
now blackening in the smoke and peeling away
to the tears of the crowd, who would not aid her?

He could not tell, nor if it was that most Roman of gods,
Sancus, “Holy” but unknown in his own personality,
who–perhaps–by magical incantations, Ephesia Grammata,
brings humans to heroic status, divine for all days.

He wondered what Apollon, or his kinsman Dionysos,
in their turns at Delphi, sharers of philadelphos,
might think of what he was about to do, and for whom
the benefits might accrue if he was successful.

It was out of a fire from the hearth of Vesta,
he thought, that his own rage was kindled,
and how might it burn? In mantic fury in Hibernia,
or battle fury gone sour into terror’s flight?

Either could be the lot of an aspiring hero:
Alexander the Great, even in his greatest victories,
was not free from the specter of sudden strange death,
nor were his lovers immune from it because of love.

Mothers and children alike had died together,
like Leukothea and her child Palaimon, thrown
from the red flower of love’s rosy petals
into the foam, to rise like the Cyprian Goddess.

If he could survive another dark night in slavery,
he might be sold to the highest bidder in some foreign port–
an emporium like Naukratis with its strange feasts
held for Hestia in odd times of the year.

He imagined Penelope, in the bondage of hospitality
to the usurping Antinoös…and yet something was strange,
for the one bearing that name was not an oppressor,
but instead a liberator in flesh yet to be formed.

Children, he feared, would never be his to have–
no deer-son for the warrior-poet on the fringe,
no changing child for a god of mists and waves–
and somehow, to know he would be without descendants…

In Thrace, things seemed so much simpler:
the god Romans called Sabazios, amidst a clutch
of holy snakes and oracular serpents would give clues
on stone wall in shadows cast from the flames.

And he, a child again, stood on the brink of freedom
and shuddered that he, in fury or in righteousness,
might become not one who breaks the chains of others
but, through his own will toward power, place them on necks.

“May it never be so,” he thought, and saw Crixus the Gaul,
who spoke of chains on the tongue of his god Ogmios–
they represented the power of eloquence to the Gaul,
but to the Thracian, binding on others and himself.

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | June 24, 2016

A Religion of Re-Heated Leftovers…?!?

I’ve been wanting to write this one for a few months now…and I’m hoping the few other posts I have in the queue might get done in the coming weeks as well. This one seemed an easy-enough one to begin with, so let’s have at it! 😉

Many people in the modern world–Christian, pagan, atheist, or otherwise–have as a fundamental religious assumption what is known as the “evolutionary view of religion.” This exists, unquestioned, in many history and religious studies textbooks, and is promulgated deliberately and unselfconsciously by the likes of Huston Smith and many others–I single him out here not because hs is particularly “villainous” (!?!) in this regard, but because his book on world religions is often used in college classrooms, and he is a well-known scholar of religious studies, despite his obvious Christian (and monotheist) bias which doubtlessly stems from his own background, experience, and upbringing. What might seem “obvious” to him and to many people like him is the way in which these mindsets unknowingly inculcate a kind of triumphalism in those who hold such viewpoints–and this applies as well to Christians and Muslims as it does to atheists…and in fairness to the latter, it must be said that the Christian (or other monotheist) formulation of this evolutionary view assumes that religious linear-historical development stops with monotheism rather than with atheism, not unlike many monotheists (who also often reject the theory of evolution biologically!) assume that humans are the summit of biological development which shall never be surpassed. (That matter and its critique, however, is for discussion at another time!)

In these sorts of views, animism and polytheism–not surprisingly–fare rather poorly. It is assumed, for example, that the “heights of reason” attained in recent centuries in scientific advancement are either due to the prevailing religion that existed while these were made (i.e. creedal monotheisms) in the case of Christianity, or that because the “Enlightenment” allowed for the questioning and eventual separation of religiosity from intellectual inquiry, that therefore proto-atheism is the reason that science worked. These are needless tautologies, since several ideas later proven to be correct were introduced and theorized–though not fully proven–under polytheism in antiquity, including atomic theory and heliocentrism, and which with time could have been demonstrated experimentally as well.

To return to animism or polytheism, therefore, suggests a romanticized “noble savage” notion at best, atavism, or even a rejection of all things modern, technological, and thus “beneficial” at worst to those who have this evolutionary view, whether they can articulate it in those terms or not. To them, a revived polytheism, animism, or a combination of either is at very best a “religion of re-heated leftovers,” and such is considered distasteful to many people.

They obviously haven’t been to the restaurants I have.

Back in about 2008 or 2009, when I was living with my good friend, colleague, and co-religionist Erynn Laure, we went to an Indian place in Lynnwood, WA near the place we went shopping one day. We’d never been to that particular one before, but would both consider ourselves aficionados of Indian cuisine. We went in and immediately enjoyed the surroundings and atmosphere of the place, the decor and the background music and the hospitality of the owner who was both maitre’d and waiter on that occasion. We had brought books in with us to read while waiting (one on Hanuman and Thich Nhat Hanh’s book on the Zen teachings of Lin Chi…guess which of us was reading which!), and the owner was intrigued by the book on Hanuman, as well as the title of the other book. We ordered our food and began to read, and soon enough, our food arrived, and it was some of the best Indian food that I’ve had in the region.

When it came time to get our checks and to depart, the owner came over and asked if either of us wanted to take home what was left–mostly sauce–to eat later. I said yes, because it was so good, whereas Erynn said no, and the owner, while not offended, tried to talk her out of it. “Are you sure? It’s homemade, not from the tin, and is even better the day after!” Despite my rather vivid memory of the situation, I can’t quite recall if those words of his convinced her or not, and thus what the fate of her leftover sauce happened to be. For my part, I know that the tikka masala sauce on rice heated up in the microwave the following day was just as tasty–if not more so–than it had been in the restaurant.

Eddie Izzard talks in one of his comedy routines about how the idea of taking things home in a “doggy bag” (as we used to call them) is kind of disgusting, at least to some British people. I suspect the same is true of a lot of Americans. Unfortunately, the United States is one of the worst culprits worldwide of throwing out huge amounts of perfectly good food for all kinds of foolish reasons, up to and including that it just “doesn’t look right” (e.g. the attempt in recent years to rehabilitate “ugly fruit” that gets weeded out from ever seeing the shelves of major grocery stores). Our culture, on the whole, is a “throwaway” culture, and not only conspicuous consumption but also built-in obsolescence (which I’ve written about before) and any number of other ideas that are so prevalent today as to be unquestioned still reigns supreme in the American consciousness that the ways in which something that is even a day old can be just as nice as something fresh and new is entirely discounted certainly spills over into our approach to religion.

“If it was so great, why did people abandon it so easily?”

Well, first of all, they often didn’t, and second, it’s not just a matter of people seeing two options and buying Brand X instead of the old one–blind taste tests and such were the province of soft drink ads in the 1970s and ’80s, not of choosing one’s religion in the 4th and 5th centuries CE. People standing over others with swords, torches, and fire, and laws with harsh penalties being written against those who practice other religions, have an ability that is (unfortunately) very effective in making people change their minds on certain issues, even ones as important as religion.

And, the religions that carried out such purges of other religions of which they did not approve, to this day, fear what might happen if other religious options become open to people, whether they are entirely new religions or are resurgences of older religions. It is exactly this which causes certain Islamic terrorist groups to bomb the remains of Palmyra and other great cities and the ruins of past polytheistic cultures, for fear that someone might just think back to the past and think it worthy of reconsideration. Best, instead, to throw it all away, rather than to keep it even in a reduced state in a container in the refrigerator for a day or two, or weeks or months, lest the possibility that it still tastes as good–or even better with the ensuing age–become available as an option to those who still live and can choose to add the heat back to what had gone cold, not through neglect or deliberate abandonment, but instead had been reduced purposefully by a fearful and insecure insistence on only having a single way religiously.

And to answer a frequent critique of the entire reconstructionist project: no, all the trappings of the old world and polytheistic cultures of the past (e.g. slavery, etc.) don’t need to go along with the revived religion in order for it to work, or to have great flavor and savor for those who practice it now…Just like with our Indian food adventure, there may not be beautiful music and lavish decor and so forth when I enjoy those reheated morsels in my own meal at home, but I can still enjoy the meal and have it nourish me as much as I could have when I was in the restaurant. Sure, it might be nicer to have it in the restaurant and not on the silly plates and boring table I have at home (if, indeed, I have a table at all–currently, I don’t!), but there is no need to lament over such things’ absence when there is a meal to be made and a hunger to be satiated.

This conceit is being pushed to the point of rupture, I suspect, so perhaps it is best to leave it off there for the moment. 😉

But, I’d be interested to hear your own thoughts on the matter in the comments below.

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | June 23, 2016

Twenty-Eight Joys…

Just a brief note to say:

May the Twenty-Eight Joys of Sabazios be with all of you who are reading this, on this day of Their birth…

And may the Twenty-Eight Joys of Sabazios live and thrive and be healthy, and grow strong in their roots in this world and all the others.

tumblr_n00ma1mxmq1s91f2vo1_400

[And…damn, yesterday I missed Oisín’s hero-feast…I hope to be able to keep the last holy days of this month better than I have been recently…and to kick a few projects into gear soon, too.]

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | June 21, 2016

A Successful Vigil…

As I was talking briefly with one of the attendees of the vigil and procession tonight after it was over, and the cops started passing by us ordering us to leave the park (since it was closing), I presented that individual–who, incidentally, got the word out to many more people than I was able to, and its success owes itself almost entirely to him, I think (imagine that!: social media usage can actually help!)–the following prayer card (available at that link from Galina Krasskova, with art by Lynn Perkins)…

antinousLynn Perkins

…and mentioned to him that right about exactly 14 years ago, in the last week of June of 2002, I first became involved with reviving the cultus of Antinous. It’s been an interesting fourteen years in between…

So, the vigil and walk was a success by all accounts, I think. We had about 30 people (not counting myself), most of whom were younger people (i.e. high schoolers), several of whom had been students of mine, plus a few faculty from the college as well that are good friends, a few parents (including my mom!), and a few other adults. That was more than I thought might come, but the numbers are, as I said, all due to the enterprising student I have that had the good sense to contact people via BaceFook.

I made eight signs with the names of seven of the slain on each one, and one more that said “June 12, 2016, Pulse, Orlando, FL, U.S.A., We Remember You! We Love You! We Are You!” between 7:15 and 8:00, then I got into my ritual clothes, did a few things in the Shrine, and did divination to see if Antinous approved of my plans. I got LIX, so that’s a pretty clear “yes.” I received several regrets for not being able to attend, one of which was from a Muslim friend of mine that I had invited and who is a staunch ally, but she wasn’t able to get a ride over in the end. I was not going to make it too much about “my religion,” but I also wasn’t going to fail to pray and honor my Deities, since They are the Ones who have inspired me to remember the dead and uphold them as Sancta/e/i, in this instance and many others. I was picked up right on time by Lou, we went over, and there were already a few people there, and more arrived soon after.

Once the time to begin came (at 9:10 PM), I said a few words, began with this prayer (found on the back of the prayer card above–in Latin!), and we read the names of those who died in a litany and said “We Remember You!” While we lit the candles, I sang the “Ignis Corporis,” and then we walked…and because there was a bit of a breeze and we were walking along the harbor’s side along the waterfront, pretty much everyone’s candles blew out relatively quickly…oops. A more financially-solid vigil convener might have been able to afford better means to keep that from occurring (we had tea lights in dixie cups–which I provided–and one of the other students brought rainbow stickers and put them on all the cups), but it actually all played into what I said: as the nights get darker since the Summer Solstice has passed, it’s important that we carry the light (which I said at the beginning), and when it goes out, to re-light it, to re-kindle it, and to help one another to protect and foster it (which I said at the end). We re-lit as many as we could when we got to the end of our walk, and I said those words, invited others to speak or offer prayers, and pretty much the only things that people said (other than one more prayer from my good colleague, Lou!) was “thank you for doing this,” so that was nice…but that’s not why I did it!

All in all, this is the most successful and well-attended public ritual I’ve ever done, I think, and for that I’m most grateful.

As an FYI, this was the 13th (and, to my knowledge at present, final) event in the We Are Orlando effort in Washington, so I’m glad we were able to be a part of that and to contribute to the overall effort.

I may have some photos and perhaps even a video of it in the days to come, so look for that! I hope to resume writing about a few things I’ve wanted to discuss for a few months in the near future, now that the summer is here and I have a bit of a break.

May Antinous and Apollon and all of your own Deities bless and guide you, and help you to foster the light in yourselves and in others, on this day and for every day to come!

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | June 20, 2016

On Dark Nights–Over and Otherwise…

It’s the full moon, and Summer Solstice (astronomically) tonight, in addition to being the “official” end of the teaching quarter (since classes ended Friday, and grades were due early this morning), and I’ve come through that…but, it was the toughest quarter I think I’ve yet had, for a huge variety of reasons…and I still am uncertain whether or not I’ll have a class to teach this summer. But, more on that another time.

It’s also the date in the Calendar that is designated “The Dark Night Is Over,” which resulted from a dream I had a few years ago in which Antinous said exactly those words to me, ending a long spate of a “dark night” experience I was having at the time. I may be in another of those at present, depending on how one looks at things, and might have been for the last few months (at very least), if not longer…but we shall see.

Things have gone off the rails a bit for the last few months, and especially for this month. I had wanted to do something for Finn mac Cumhaill’s hero-feast day on the 9th, but was too busy; and then on the 12th, rather than celebrating Aphrodite with the Rhodophoria, the Pulse massacre in Orlando occurred, and couples died in one another’s embrace instead. On the usual calendrical dates that followed last week–Naukrateia on the 14th and Suibhne’s hero-feast on the 17th–I ended up posting more about Pulse in various ways, completely unbeknownst to me that the dates were coincident with our usual holy days since this recent time period (even independent of the Pulse massacre) was so fraught…

But, at present, with the local vigil and procession for Pulse coming up tomorrow night, I’m thinking about “dark nights” in less metaphorical-theological-specific senses.

What sort of dark nights are ending right now–if any–and what sorts might actually be beginning?

From tomorrow onwards, the nights will be getting longer, and thus the dark nights are by no means “over” in that sense.

From the Pulse massacre last week, certain forms of visibility for the continued life-and-death straggle of the queer communities–even in the U.S.–has been highlighted in such a way that we cannot be in ignorance over it any longer, nor claim that it has not come into the light of day.

But, is there a larger darkness that is now also impending, not only over these matters, but many others as well? The situation of the world at present is not exactly wonderful, and even independent of the large news stories, the horrors, and the ongoing circus of the presidential race, there are things occurring that are not remotely pleasant, just, nor hopeful for many people–polytheists included.

And while I’d be the last person to say that “night = bad,” given I am a cultist of Nyx and I know for a fact that many good and wonderful things, as well as many scary and frightening (but ultimately important) things occur in the darkness of night, nonetheless the fear of darkness drives many to do things that are not especially useful nor good more than the actual nature of those things which take place under the cool cover of night. One could very easily argue that the entire Pulse massacre was spawned from a convergence and confluence of various forms of fear of darkness, the scorned, the unknown, and the other, as reflected in fears around sexuality, religious indoctrination, homophobic rhetoric, nationalism and nativism, terrorism, an ongoing debate about personal liberties versus personal safety, ethics, and politics (to barely scratch the surface), not to mention the desire to make meaning–not only that of the victims and the survivors and the wider communities that have embraced them and uphold and support them amidst this atrocity, but also in the desire of the shooter himself to unite his own struggle with something that he saw as heroic and important and even cosmic in its implications, whatever the realities of it might have been in the depths of his own troubled soul.

While I do think compassion is useful, likewise I don’t think we should lose sight of the fact that using other people’s lives as nonconsensual props in one’s own drama for personal religious redemption and one’s own search for meaning. Nothing can excuse the horrific nature of what occurred, the injustice of it, nor is there any suggestion that all of the guilty parties–the shooter himself, the religious ideologies that inspired him, the cultural forces that could have prevented this tragedy from occurring, and so much else–should not be held responsible nor called out for their culpability in this matter. But, the larger struggle to find meaning that is occurring at present, and which is exemplified in this and so many other things, needs to be taken seriously and acknowledged for what it is.

No matter whether one is religious or not–conventionally or otherwise–or sees culture and science and other factors as having a role in the matter or not, one thing is abundantly clear: over the past few centuries, humanity as-a-whole has struggled to find meaning in a changing world, which is becoming less and less suited to provide it for them. We have entered, as a species, a “dark night” unprecedented in the annals of human history, where we stand on the brink of self-destruction due to any number of out-of-control and unchecked impulses, and where what seemed solid is gradually revealed more and more to be as insubstantial as mist that disperses quickly in the light of day…and yet, there is no comfort in that light, no warmth in it, only the promise of heat and the foul fires and destruction it will burn.

As a culture, we would do well to cease ignoring the dark night–or, as can sometimes be an even worse case, fighting against it–and began instead to embrace it, for that is the only way we will get through it. We must begin to look and say “Where has the meaning gone? We admit it isn’t here any longer, and we want it back, and will begin to do what we used to do in order to regain it, to recreate it, and to no longer lose it, or even worse, to ignore it as unimportant.” We may be able to do it fairly well as polytheists, but others might not be so lucky in many cases.

What might we do to help the wider culture in this time of distress and uncertainty, if anything?

I’d be interested in hearing/reading anyone’s thoughts in the comments below.

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | June 17, 2016

Links on the Pulse Massacre from the wider world…

Polytheists have responded appropriately to the massacre at Pulse last Sunday; certain other religious minorities? Perhaps not…

But, rather than dwell on those, I wanted to bring a few things to your attention that I’ve been collecting over the last few days. I only have a short few moments now, as today was the last day of my teaching quarter (and may be my last day of teaching at the college until the Fall, which is another story, and a long and tedious and frustrating one at that…!?!), I did a few administrative things this afternoon to organize the local vigil and procession in honor of Pulse Orlando next Tuesday, and then spent the afternoon with a student who wanted to discuss future study prospects with me, which was rather enjoyable, and for which that student was very thankful (which is always a nice compliment, and one of the ways that I am sustained in this work even despite some diminishing returns), and I have to walk to graduation in a short little while…So, that probably took longer than it should have to explain that, but here I go anyway!

First: let us remember that it is not just radical Islam that professes hatred of LGBTQQIA+ individuals…other religions, espoused by some people who are using the Orlando massacre as a political football, are just as bad, and in fact are in agreement with groups like Daesh on what should be done with folks like us…

Something else to be aware of: the shooter’s sexual orientation has come under scrutiny lately, and while this adds an interesting and very unfortunate dimension to this incident, I think we should beware of the tendency, which I’ve discussed previously as a fallacy, that “extreme homophobia = homosexual” is its own kind of way of saying “gay people are their own worst enemies,” in the same way that many people dismiss violence against Black people by saying “Black-on-Black violence and crime is the most common sort.” It’s a pernicious cycle, potentially…

The inimitable Stephen Colbert has advised against despair in light of the Orlando Pulse massacre:

*****

And he’s also had this to say about Orlando and certain politicians:

*****

And, while I do agree that prayer is useful in situations like this, nonetheless Samantha Bee has some important caveats to that viewpoint, especially as mainstream religions have seemed to understand the concept:

*****

Also, Irna L. Landrum has written an important piece on the loss of actual safe spaces as a result of the Orlando Pulse massacre. It’s a sobering thought, to be sure…

It’s going to be a busy weekend for me, as I have a metric fuck-ton of grading to do, but I hope that those of you who are going to Pride celebrations, or to vigils and memorials, or are just out and about and having a good time, are all safe and happy, and are in the constant blessings and protection of the Many Deities–including (but by no means limited to!) Antinous.

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | June 14, 2016

Vigil/March for Pulse Orlando in Oak Harbor

For those of you who don’t know, there is now a website called We Are Orlando, which has all sorts of information on it regarding counseling services, fundraising, and also memorial events that are taking place across the country and worldwide. Please check it out, donate what you are able to, and find out if there are ways you can get involved locally…

…including hosting/organizing your own memorial event in your own locality, if there isn’t one already.

I had a look, and saw (as of tonight–Tuesday the 14th) that there are none thus far in Washington state. (UPDATE: There were actually two on the 14th, and two on the 15th, it seems!) There are none in Island or Skagit Counties in Washington state. So, that has to change…

Thus, I’m going to hold an event here in Oak Harbor. What I’d like to do is have a candlelight vigil and memorial walk, starting at 9 PM at Smith Park in Oak Harbor, where we’ll gather, say a few words and prayers and read the names of those who have died, and then we’ll walk down the hill from there and along Bayshore Drive down to the windmill at City Beach Park. (It’s less than a mile walk, and as it will just be twilight that day–the Summer Solstice–and the weather forecast looks favorable, it should be pretty nice.)

I’m going to advertise this locally, let folks at my college know, and perhaps also notify a few of the local churches and other spiritual communities, too…this is a very busy week, as it is the final one of the quarter (and the academic year for many people), but this is too important. If you would be interested in assisting us in this effort at a distance in various ways, please let me know in the comments below…I’m going to get some candles, but if I can locally source some small rainbow flags and such as well that aren’t prohibitively expensive, that might also be good…fifty of them, at least.

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | June 14, 2016

A Prayer After Orlando

In the name of Antinous, the Beautiful, the Just, the Benevolent…

In the name of Hadrian, the Radiant, the Wise, the Disciplined…

In the name of Sabina, the Splendorous, the Pious, the Virtuous…

Fifty now come to You, some lovers in one’s another’s arms.
They were men, women, gender-variant, and even mothers and fathers.
With ambrosia and honey feed them, and show them Your calm guiding hands
as you escort them in honor and glory to their next destinations.

Send Your strength and Your peace to those who have survived these horrors,
guide them and speed their healing, and guide the hands of those who heal them.

Send Your strength and Your peace to the loved ones and families of those who have died,
may their tears and their anger not go unheeded by the Many Deities.

Send Your strength and Your peace to those who helped in this situation–
police, emergency workers, blood donors, nurses and doctors–
for their selfless sacrifices are holy in the eyes of Deities and humans.

Send Your strength and Your peace to the entire LGBTQQIA+ communities
in Orlando, in the U.S., and worldwide
that justice and life and liberty may emerge from the turmoil.

Triptych of Al-Uzza, Allat, and Manat by Grace Palmer
Click on Photo for Prayer Card of This Image from Galina Krasskova

And to three Goddesses I now pray:
Al-Uzza, the Holy,
Manat, the Merciful,
Allat, the Compassionate–
Three Who are not called upon often,
Three Who have been forgotten and maligned,
Three Whose blessing and guidance are needed now.

Protect Your children, in Your own lands
and in the lands to which they have come as guests.

Protect Your children, though they may think their blessings
come from Allah alone, You know the truth of the matter.

Protect Your children, for madmen will now use
one massacre to justify others.

In the name of Hadrian, Who in Allat’s temple in Palmyra
made offerings and praise to the Great Goddess,
Chief August Lady of the Daughters of Allah,
may You and Your Sisters be honored once again
even as You guide and protect Your children
as You always have–the Three Pillars of their strength–
though they may attribute the Daughters’ blessings
to the Father rather than the Ladies Who are All-Worthy.

May a rain of peace and of justice,
of blessings and of succor
from the holy tears of the Many Deities
fall gently but in abundance
upon all who suffer and are in anguish
in their struggles to live and thrive,
on this day, on every day,
for all the days to come.

*****

[Say this with the “Prayer Against Persecution” for the next few days/nights, if you can…the flags in my state, and I think nationwide, are at half-mast for this most egregious and horrific massacre, and for that duration at least, we should all so pray–and should make prayers in your own traditions to and for your own Deities in whatever way They might be entreated to assist us in this very chaotic and broken society in which we are now living.]

For an account of one of the survivors of this massacre, see this.

In this month in which many of us celebrate Pride, and the date later this month of the rebellion at Stonewall–the place and moment where queer liberation on an unapologetic and public level first occurred in the modern world–now we have a second bar to remember, Pulse in Orlando, which demonstrates that nearly 47 years later, no matter what has been gained, there are still many who do not merely wish LGBTQQIA+ people harm, but will bring weapons to our own spaces to murder and terrorize.

Fight on, my friends…In the words of Nazim Hikmet, which I have used so often to commemorate Marguerite Porete on June 1st for the last 16 years:

If I do not burn,
If you do not burn,
If we do not burn,
How shall the shadows
Become light?

Posted by: aediculaantinoi | June 12, 2016

For the Innocents of Orlando

May Antinous, Hadrian, Sabina, and the entire Antinoan Pantheon give their utmost blessings, peace, strength, and succor to the survivors of the attack in Orlando, and to the families of those who were slain; and may They welcome those who were mercilessly killed and aid them in their onward journeys.

There is too much to consider yet in this situation…too many questions, too much still not known. Certainly, homophobia is the sine qua non here, but what the roots or connections of that to other matters might be is not entirely clear yet. (It is disgusting that certain would-be politicians are already using this situation for self-aggrandizement and as a vindication of their opinions on certain subjects…and we need not give said individuals any further attention by mentioning their names.)

I don’t know if I have it in me to say more on the situation at this point, so I shall leave it at that, and hope that everyone reading this is safe, and continues to be so, and that you will add your prayers and other efforts to this matter as you feel able and appropriate.

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