Death Makes Angels Of Us All

•July 3, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I’ve told the story here before, of how discovering Jim Morrison led me to Dionysos, and how he is entwined with many other aspects of my spiritual life. Thus, every year on July 3, I mark the date of his death and make offerings of whiskey. This year, I will also be watching “Feast of Friends” – a movie made by The Doors in 1968 which was just restored and released.

It is hard to adequately explain how I feel about Mr. Mojo Risin’ – it’s not about the man, it’s about the heros, the part of him that touched the divine. His music, his poetry, his strange drunken ecstatic presence, set me on the road to what I am now. And so I am going to share something kind of embarrassing, because it’s so dear to my heart.

0591This is a photo of me at age 13, wearing a t-shirt of Jim from the famous “young lion” shoot. This was taken in May 1991, meaning I had just started encountering my spirits and dealing with all of that. Just goes to show that the spirits do not always choose people for their looks! Oh gods – the hair, the glasses, the braces, the shirt tucked into jeans…

But despite all appearances, I was open, and I heard Them, and I let Them in. And fittingly, it was all to the soundtrack of music by The Doors.

Hail to the Lizard King!

Hellenic Festival Experiences

•July 2, 2015 • 1 Comment

I’m in the middle of writing Komos: Celebrating Festivals in Contemporary Hellenic Polytheism, and it occurred to me that I might like to include some experiences/ideas from other Hellenic polytheists to balance my own.

IF YOU IDENTIFY AS HELLENIC POLYTHEIST (in whole or part) AND HAVE EITHER ADAPTED AN ANCIENT FESTIVAL OR CREATED AN ENTIRELY NEW ONE, and are willing to have it included in this book, please EMAIL ME a brief (one or two paragraphs) description of what it was about, why you did it, how you celebrated it, etc. I’m looking for festivals that have actually been implemented, not just theoretical ideas.

Please note that at this point, this is just a preliminary possibility. I’m not sure if I will definitely go ahead with it (depending on the submissions received and the way the book takes shape as a whole), and if I do, I’m not sure if I want to quote people in full or just incorporate the ideas. Either way, if I use your submission, you will be given credit by whatever name you want.

Pursuing the Gods

•July 1, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Read this great article by John Beckett on why it’s perfectly okay to pursue the gods rather than waiting to be “called.” I’ve been called plenty, but I’ve initiated relationships with gods too. There’s no reason we have to wait for Them to make the first move! (Although, also no guarantee that They will reciprocate or things will click.) An especially important point he makes is that many people might be hearing the call and not recognizing it. I see this happen a lot. Which is why I always advocate learning to interpret omens and finding ways to communicate with the gods no matter what your mystical skill level. Anyway, go give it a read.

Reminder: Bakcheion Fundraiser

•June 30, 2015 • 1 Comment

We need your help to put on a powerful ritual for Dionysos at Many Gods West! The Bakcheion crew have been planning for months – gathering supplies, memorizing hymns and prayers, working on our mainadic gear, making offerings – to create a ritual that will properly honor Dionysos and help bring others into the realm of His ecstatic frenzy! But bringing such an experience to other polytheists is not cheap – we need money for hotel rooms, travel expenses, and lots and lots of wine! We’re only at 24% of our fundraising goal right now. We’ll make it work no matter what, but a little more assistance would be greatly appreciated! We have lots of great perks to offer in return – my contributions include vials of my Darkwood incense powder, and a selection of bone pendants.

PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING.

The Dangers of Anthropomorphism or I Like My Gods Dangerous

•June 29, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Dver:

This is something I’ve touched on before here: https://forestdoor.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/presence-and-power/. I think we cheat ourselves of the full divine experience when we limit our understanding of Them to anthropomorphizations. They are so much more than that.

Originally posted on Gangleri's Grove:

Engaging with the Gods can be difficult. There are many pitfalls. We can all flail at times when our neatly held beliefs are challenged by our experiences, or when we enter into uncharted territory: experiences and places that our previous spiritual lives didn’t quite prepare us to navigate. In some respects, the various corpora of sacred lore that our respective traditions contain – our myths and sacred stories—can be of inestimably help in providing a context for one’s experiences, and in learning and growing and coming to a better understanding of devotional work and the Gods Themselves. In other ways, especially in our society, a society that despises devotion and deifies the self, those self-same stories can cause some serious problems.

This really crystalized for me this past semester, when I had to sit for twelve weeks, once a week, in a room full of academics discussing ancient polytheisms. I…

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Walking the Worlds Vol. 1 No. 2

•June 29, 2015 • 1 Comment

wtw2covertnCheck out the new issue of Walking the Worlds!

I’ve got an article in there and I’m in really good company (you can view the whole Table of Contents at the link above).

The theme is Building Regional Cultus, something we all need to be paying more attention to.

Get your copy today!

 

Hermes in the Cemetery #6

•June 22, 2015 • 2 Comments

This month’s cemetery trip was probably the shortest so far. There’s a reason I’ve never bothered exploring Sunset Hills even though it’s relatively close to me. It’s one of those that looks like a big empty mowed field from afar, all the headstones are set flat in the ground. It’s also much newer than the others – I didn’t see anything earlier than the 1970’s when glancing at the inscriptions. But I still dutifully wandered around, took photos, gathered stones, and left my offering.

The entrance

The entrance

Not much to see here.

Not much to see here.

Most of the iconography was Christian...

Most of the iconography was Christian…

...like this giant book showing the Lords Prayer (which actually was pretty cool looking)

…like this giant book showing the Lords Prayer (which actually was pretty cool looking)

Though there was this lovely little Buddhist shrine

Though there was this lovely little Buddhist shrine

Love how the Buddha is covered in moss.

Love how the Buddha is covered in moss.

Just found this inscription with the accompanying offerings quite striking.

Just found this inscription with the accompanying offerings quite striking.

I was looking around for a good place to leave my miniature herm, when I saw this.

I was looking around for a good place to leave my miniature herm, when I saw this.

In the spirit of reverse appropriation, I decided this would be the perfect spot. Beneath the image of the lamb being carried (Hermes Kriophoros) and the word "leadeth" (Hermes Psychopompos).

In the spirit of reverse appropriation, I decided this would be the perfect spot. Beneath the image of the lamb being carried (Hermes Kriophoros) and the word “leadeth” (Hermes Psychopompos), I left my stones. 

 
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