Astral Weather, Rabbit Holes, and Trained Responses

In case a previous post didn’t tip you off? I’m an Alice in Wonderland fan. I saw the Disney Movie when I was a little girl and have kept a copy of it ever since. Alice Through the Looking Glass, MirrorMask, all versions of the same stories and themes. In a way, I related to her. Her love of the surreal and nonsensical was something that called to me even before I knew what the “surreal” actually was.

Of course once she got to the world she dreamed up in her own mind, she found it wasn’t nearly as wonderful as she would have hoped. In fact, the constant inability to rely on her own senses and sensibility often drove her to tears.

But at least she's a cute crier.

But at least she’s a cute crier.

That’s the thing about trained responses. The mind is used to behaving in a certain manner to certain stimuli be they boring history lessons by the riverbank, shisha smoking caterpillars, or bumps caused by Mercury Retrograde during a challenging Neptune-squared Mars.

I had a feeling something was wonky when a seemingly smooth sail toward this new week suddenly turned into me losing my debit card within hours of depositing money into my bank account, my apartment “remembering” that I needed to pay an extra $300 for a pet deposit on top of needing to move my lease signing date from this coming Tuesday to Friday.

My first reaction? Panic followed by the paranoia that follows a seeming loss of control. After so many other bumps on this road to freedom and radical self-care, I felt I couldn’t handle another surprise. For some reason, in that moment I realized this was my trained response. This was how I always handled situations that popped up out of the not-so-clear blue sky. So I checked my astral weather;

-54 Square Neptune – Mars

Challenging aspect: You may be prone to fear or an overworked imagination during this rather long-term transit that can last for some months. There is a lot of drama with this position. You could lose control of your actions because you have difficulty in controlling yourself, and in thinking things through.

This may be a difficult period. You should stay close to those people who in normal times reassure you. In this way, you will have confidence in them and, during this transit, they will protect you, reason with you, and calm you down.

Although your focus may be compromised and physical energy scattered, there is a strong potential for you to improve your intuition and magnetic powers. You may be in the right place at the right time. The effects of this transit will have much to do with the condition of Mars in your chart. You may, for example, be inclined to take shortcuts or to not know where you are headed exactly, and attract negative influences as a result. You may feel uninspired or lazy due to lack of motivation or a feeling of being without a direction in life. You may have a hard time drumming up the confidence to move forward. On the other hand, you can be extremely inspired if your personality is extroverted, and/or if you work with Neptune instead of against it. Neptune is urging you to become more refined with regards to your desire nature, anger management, and assertive tendencies. Incorporating more imagination, compassion, and spirituality into these parts of your personality will help you to not only “manage” the transit, but to learn from it.

Well there we go then. And there’s something about knowing the energies surrounding my little sphere of the universe that makes things seem a whole lot better. Even though I can’t control what happens in the future and can only be present in the moment there is something to be gained even from the craziest of random adversities. The freak outs are wholly unnecessary especially since I have amazing people by my side. A loving primary partner, an amazingly patient and doting adoptive mother, and good friends all over the world.

When I reflect on these things, the trained response is revealed to be what it actually is: a self-inflicted lie.

How most of my freak outs tend to end.

How most of my freak outs tend to end.

Learning new behaviors is part of this transition I’m going through. Letting go of fear of uncertainty, something I gained sitting in civilization and weaving , will be one of many steps I take to reclaiming my role as Maenad and shifting into my roles as light bearer, independent scholar, and occultist.

To work magic means to believe in your ability to alter reality with the will, the aid of spirits, and the blessings of the gods and irrational fear doesn’t fit into that schema anywhere. The role of the mage revolves around tramping around the fields of the unknown in more than theory.

The Maenad rushes into the mountains with little regard for what bumps in the night.

The light bearer stands in front of the pitch black mass of space time and brightens the shadows with the search for vibrant truth.

In the end, Alice stops trying to make Wonderland play by her rules and instead breaks the game using its own paradigm of nonsense. Bumps, bruises, and knaves be damned.

And now…it’s time to get dressed for tea.

 

 

Reality is the Looking Glass

The basic concept of synchronicity allows one to think that perhaps, just maybe, there is no such thing as coincidence. Seemingly “random” incidents are really connected in ways that defy normal human perception unless one is willing to look closely for the clues. Links. Cues. Whatever. This is particularly true with relation to symbols, numbers, ‘astral weather’ (Thanks Gordon) and a whole host of other little nuggets often overlooked.

Like waking up a few days after my 30th birthday to the clock reading 3:33. The connection was not an instant one. I laid there for a few minutes kind of pissed that I was awake 3 hours before I needed to do the whole get-ready-for-work bit. When the gears finally shifted it was more of a “huh, that’s some interesting sync.” before I got up to feed my Sims. (Don’t judge me. You don’t know my struggle.)

30 was marked by receiving further confirmation about a new position I pulled from the ether with a little help from some friends (3 of wands). This would be working in a field of IT I’ve only done as an amateur (3 of Pentacles) and I’m scared witless. Who says it’s not who you know? It’s totally who you know (3 of Cups). Previously working with the hiring manager for said department helped ease the wheels. This following the hell on earth that was the past six months (3 of Swords), it seemed like every 3 in the Tarot tableaux decided to make its own guest appearance in the very boring novella known as my life. (It would probably be better if it had more Spanish. My life needs more Spanish.)

And apparently LESS LSD.

More Spanish but less LSD.

Did I mention the whole personal transformation that’s continuously challenging me to alter my perception of what my ‘true calling’ actually IS while throwing me headlong into a completely out of the blue newish relationship-type thing? (The Empress). More on that later when I’ve had enough coffee and rum to be eloquent. Actually fuck that noise. My commitment phobia is in full gear and it might be better for everyone involved if I completely pretend as if nothing is happening.

aliceglass10

They probably know this is how I see them.

Despite my attempts at blissful, and willful, ignorace I’ve been in this whole sync mode where it seems the gods, universe, someone’s mom is watching out for me with the general gentle care one expects from an overly ambitious Light Bringer who’s made a deal with a certain God of the Vine.

My immediate sphere is bursting with new magic, entities I wish to form relationships with, gods and ancestors I will honor in the coming months, history to read, dynamic sado-magical techniques I hope to employ, and wine and food meant to be relished in the bewitched setting of my own home while surrounded by the sacred company of the outcast, decadent, sublime, and strange.

Kind of like how I spent prom.

And everything ticks along accordingly in a cacophonous whirl of sync. It would almost be comical if it weren’t for the fact that I spent so much time ignoring it.

Here’s to a little more mayhem couched in inevitability.

 

The Split that Made the Hive: Loki, Lucifer, and Mindful Divorce

I am not a Lokean. Let me repeat this, I am not a Lokean. My dealings with the Norse pantheon tend to be far and few between. That’s mainly do to my own discomfort with being a black woman and interfacing with gods who have been more-or-less coopted as for the Whitest of the Europeans despite this kind of not being the case. Whatever, I have 30 years of American White-Supremacist and Revisionist history to erase from my mind when it comes to these gods.

Sue me.

Actually don’t sue me since I’m about to be going through a divorce. 

Art and symbols often converge to create magic or religion or both depending on the situation. At the top of this year I came across a picture of old Flame-Hair and Sigyn that was just plain nifty and decided to use it as my desktop wallpaper at work. What? You act like you don’t spend about 1/3 of your desk-job surfing Pinterest and reading Rune Soup.  lokisigyn

So I got to spend 6 months explaining my “golly gee” art selection to innocent help desk techs and the random stranger who felt the need to stop in my cube because apparently I just have “one of those faces.” I also got to spend these same months caught in two reorgs, having three different managers, being reminded by a mentor that, off the record, I’m still black in corporate America and need to “play the game”, having the most duplicitous and passive-aggressive piece of New Jersey scum (aka my boss) decide to formally reprimand me for a polite but honest email, and then have said reprimand revoked just so I can transfer to a new department with a new manager. Many thanks HR and Happy 2014.

You don’t have to believe in Loki for him to believe in you…I guess. And it’s not even that I didn’t believe in him, it’s that I didn’t believe in him needing to be in my business like a recurring UTI. 

But out of all of this tumult I came to some startling realizations about myself; like that I have no desire to be an analyst anymore. That the most pleasing faces can hide some very insidious natures. That sometimes I really just need to hex a motherfucker and that sometimes what isn’t said is louder than all manner of explanation and what is done can convey a message quite clearly all on its own.

With this fuckery of a yeatr tucked into my proverbial belt, Lucifer returned to his position on my monitor as he is prone to do (along with Dionysos) during my artistic cycling. Bear in mind this wasn’t so much because I felt I had learned some kind of lesson. It was more because I was scared to death that Loki’s continued presence in my office space would mean even more upheaval I was not prepared for.

My 30th birthday was spent playing Axis and Allies with my secondary partner and watching Pride and Prejudice while openly crying at the happy parts. I came home to the realization that I didn’t want to be here/there anymore and this sensation had been with me for quite some time. My unhappiness had led to a plethora of decisions that were totally against my best interest and led to increasing health problems and a feeling of emotional emptiness that could only be filled by booze and Destiel fanfiction.

So one week after Lu’s reassertion I tell my husband I think it’s best I move out and take a loan out on my 401k. My apartment is picked. All’s that’s left to do is pack, prepare, and pray.

The truth will set you free.

But breaking self-imposed shackles is always a bitch.

So instead of being bitter or blaming my partner for 5 years of life that were pretty good all-in-all I have to admit that HE didn’t change but I did. It’s not that I want MORE of anything. It’s more that I want something different, simpler, and a hell of a lot less emotionally draining. I need to be in a space/realm of my own.

But most of all, I need to freedom to BE ME in my mercurial. ecstatic, and energetic entirety without the constant sensation of letting someone down. And sometimes I just need silence.

Dionysos had been strangely silent during this long coming collapse. But then in my peripheral, on the edge of my mind between what I sometimes think is just my own voice and that Voice that whispers throaty truths… 

They’ll take you out of the mountains and show you civilized men

And you’ll sit for awhile to spin and weave , the abandon of youth tempered by wisdom

But eventually you will want to come to the mountains again

Come to me again 

And they will say you cannot serve two masters

Because to them you are a slave

 

 

 

 

To Neither Hold Nor Have

 

Over the past month one theme has been playing in my mind. It comes from a conversation I had with a coworker about the beauty of a young man who worked in our group. I was attempting to explain how, despite his physical attractiveness I had no desire to lay with him sexually. I think my idea went something like this;

Of course I find [him] beautiful. He’s gorgeous but I have no desire to possess him or even touch him. It’s like a flower you come across. The flower is beautiful but do you pick it? Its beauty will eventually fade and die once it’s been wrestled from the dirt and soiled by your hands. I feel that way about people. If I touch them, I alter their environment in a way that could be potentially destructive . It’s far better for me to observe their beauty than to try to take actions because of it.

As much as I am a Dionysian woman I am also a bit Epicurean in my outlook. Pleasure should be prolonged as long as possible. With age I’ve found that I obtain more pleasure from the lack of “having” than I ever do from actually obtaining my desires. A beautiful man is still beautiful if every day I see the sun rise on his beauty and have no reason to think otherwise. But what if we quarrel? What if he turns out to be of poor character? Well then the beauty is diminished. In my desire to possess, to hold against my flesh, I’ve destroyed the aesthetic. capturedflower

“But human beings aren’t perfect.” You’ll say and you’re right. But how often do we say this to ourselves not as a reminder of why we should accept others as they are but more as a reminder of what happens when we decide possession is the natural course for desire; whether sexually or aesthetically? The assumption is that this  attitude derives from expecting perfection, but I feel this attitude comes from my inner realization that my very real imperfections are quite capable of deteriorating the delicate masterpiece someone else has become.

This is a far cry from many feelings I have had in the past where I wanted to reach out and touch, grab, and hold with hand, tongue, and teeth. It’s almost ascetic in its implications, but maybe that is where I am headed right now. Especially as Lucifer and Dionysos both switch gears with regard to what is expected of me and where I am supposed to be headed. If anything this moment seems completely counter-intuitive to everything I ever thought these beings would be but maybe that’s the point after all. They, nor anything else, is MINE to possess or “know”. All of that is an illusion, an attempt at wrestling control in the face of the weakness of the eye and human soul.

The only thing I can possess is my knowledge of self, my own destiny, thoughts, words, deeds, and truths.

 

A Few Hard Truths About Phallic Worship

 If you ever visit my home you will become aware of two things very quickly. First, that our hallway is a dark shade of green and second, that a beautiful glass phallus will appear immediately to your right the moment you enter the living room. This can be jarring for some people. An altar or shrine with a few statues on it and an incense holder is something people can easily understand. But there is something all together foreign, lewd, and dare I say terrifying about seeing a penis given the same place of reverence as an offering bowl.

In reality, phallic worship is nothing new and any Dionysian, Hellenist, or Romana worth their salt knows the various roles phalli have played within our religious and mystical frameworks. Our Paganism these days seems rather sanitized in comparison. While we have embraced feminine sexuality, celebrated the mysteries of the Goddesses, and worked to bridge the gaps of gender-based inequality within our community (and perhaps not getting far enough) I’ll put it plainly;

 Modern Paganism appears to be pretty scared of cock.

 And maybe with good reason. Collected epigrams from antiquity show Priapos, son of Dionysos and Aphrodite, threatening trespassers in his fields with brutal sodomy in retaliation for the offense; 

 

“… If I do seize you . . . you shall be so stretched that you will think your anus never had any wrinkles.” 

Word?

Word?

 

Even before some Feminists classified the penis as a weapon, it was already seen as one. Dicks were dangerous, active, fervent, and completely necessary for the continuation of civilization. And more than just the mythical symbolism where a large phallus denoted fertility in its more aggressive forms, the fear of a phallus and what it could do to someone, anyone, may have been part of the reason Herms and statues of Priapos were considered so effective against misfortune. Whether dangling as a set of wind-chimes (which I am seriously going to have to make one of these) or hung around the neck, the power of the prick protected you from all kinds of evils and could ensure your safety during travel.

But many in the past, just as the present, were aware of the connotations of lust attached to portrayals of an erection, even an “inactive” one. Deities like Dionysos, and Priapos in particular, have artwork prominently featuring their loins and the consequences that came because of them. That was one of their many roles. Some deities simply tell you to

Is that a boner in your pocket or is that a boner in your pocket?

Is that a boner in your pocket or is that a boner in your pocket?

“be fruitful and multiply” while others show you how it’s done.

 And finally, as a woman who is attracted to Mr. Johnson’s johnson, I think penises are beautiful. I think there’s nothing better than a freshly washed jimmy, knee pads, and a good 20 minutes. The phallus on my altar represents my own lust, sexuality, and desires as much as it does the heavy sway of Priapos across the fields or Dionysos in the mountains. My altar didn’t feel very complete until I purchased the final glass piece to set upon it.

 Put out or get out. What are your thoughts about phallic worship? Why has it seemed to slip to the wayside when so many cultures and religions have a place for it somewhere in the canon? Does the phallus have a place in modern Paganism?

How Pagan Tumblr is Pretty Accurate…

Now before you go and hit that “Unsubscribe” button at least hear me out and THEN hit “Unsubscribe.” If you’re going to leave, I’d much rather you leave offended than because you were misinformed about my intentions with this post.

Tumblr, on its own, is pretty infamous. It’s where crazed fangirls congregate and blot out the sun like Xerxes’ arrows in 300 and Pagan/Witchy Tumblr has just as much of a reputation. If not for the constant tripe that shows up under the tags of “#pagan” or “#witchcraft” or even “#occult” than certainly because of the behavior of many of the, mostly young women, who make up the majority population.

Image

See the look on the little girl on the left’s face? That’s the look on my face whenever I meet another white chick at a pagan gathering. Normally I manage to keep it inside.

But where a lot of people tend to act like Pagan Tumblr is just that cousin out in the boonies of crazy land making curse jars out of their mother’s pantry, I’m going to go ahead and say it; Pagan Tumblr is a fairly accurate portrayal of the reality of the pagan community as a whole. Granted it’s condensed and given just enough anonymity that anyone can become a bad ass if they have the right followers; but overall it’s a bastion for snot-nosed, normally middle class, entitled White girls and women (and I use that term very loosely) to bandy about social justice terms and act like little Scarlet O’Haras with the veneer of Savior complex that’s laughable considering many of them spend time begging for money or complaining about their lives.

Like the pagan community in real life, there is a fair bit of segregation. Pagans of color tend to congregate under certain tags or around certain pages because basically; the pagan community both in Tumblr and outside of it isn’t generally safe for those who aren’t either a) white women or b) gay white men. Neither party will want to admit to this, because to many of them social justice isn’t so much about a cohesive understanding but more of a game of one-upmanship. So what if you’re a Latino woman who can’t “pass” and deals with social pressures that comes from a rather small yet extremely vocal contingency convincing your fellow citizens that you are somehow “stealing opportunities” from “real Americans?” You obviously have no idea what it’s like to bequeer/obese/trans/disabled/[insert Oppression Olympics Option Here].

Oh no please. Tell me more about how your "fiesty Scottish blood" gives you the magical ability to be a complete bitch for no reason.

Oh no please. Tell me more about how your “fiesty Scottish blood” gives you the magical ability to be a complete bitch for no reason.

So kindly shut your ungrateful ass up and sit down until you’re needed to reaffirm whatever political point your benevolent Anglo-Pagan Mistresses and Masters have chosen for you.

And please prepare to have everything yo do say met with a level of petulant defensiveness befitting a spoiled 5 year old or a level of dismissal that can swiftly have you “cursed” for daring to speak outside of the group consensus. Or, as was my case with regard to a local former BNP and her proteges, publically slandered without anyone being brought to task for the action. That wasn’t even the first, or last time, I watched a couple of white folk get away with shit that would have had me called all kinds of names all over the internet.

So it’s easier to stick to your own, in the alleyways and by ways of pagandom where trans Pakistani women and men, Queer POC occultists, black Pagans, and other such not-the-right-minority minorities share their mysteries with other people who understand intersectionality and don’t expect them to hold a “place.” Especially a place that is consistantly one of “Mammy” where you/me/whoever is expected to offer loving kindness and forgiveness for the stamp of White Liberal Approval. No anger allowed and especially no telling High Priestess Cubby-Cunt from the Midwest that you don’t have the same issues with things that she does because you have your OWN issues to deal with.

So does this mean there is no space for people of color in the pagan community at all? In my honest opinion? There isn’t. I know, it’s unpopular because there’s been so many conferences and pep talks and the same people using pretty words like we haven’t heard this shit before, but overall? There are very few places where intersectionality, paganism, and perspective is respected and acknowledged for the aspects of reality that they are. One such place is The Cauldron, a pagan forum dedicated to discussion and debate that will ask you to place fact over your feelings (unless the conversation is actually about feelings) and other such congregations tend to be spaces created specifically FOR people of color because then it’s about being on our own turf.

And it’s kind of sad that “turf” is still a major player in a community that tries to pride itself on hugging trees and loving everything and shit.

So what’s a solution Nikki D? You got all this to say? Why don’t you help fix it?

Because really? Fuck them.

OMG! We're so glad you COULDN'T make it!

OMG! We’re so glad you COULDN’T make it!

Fuck them and the SPF50 they brought with them. I don’t want to swim in a piss-filled pool just because the white folk get to swim in it. They can have it. I’m fine with the segregation. I’m fine with my separate (and superior) sacred spaces. I’m fine with watching other negroes shuck and jive to make nice with motherfuckers who don’t give two shits about us until its protest or photo-op time. I’m fine looking someone in the eye and saying “By any means necessary.”

And the white pagans who know me and mine and have broken bread with me know exactly where I stand. I will only fight for those who fight for me. Period.

So Pagan Tumblr isn’t “so bad” because it’s so outrageous, it’s so bad because it shows EXACTLY what the Pagan community is actually like.

And this knowledge would probably end up saving a lot of people a lot of time dealing with the bullshit.

Spooky-Ooky is Expensive

 

 

Psst. I’m going to tell you a secret. I’m a bibliophile. SHOCKER! I know! Okay maybe not so much. I’d be willing to wager that most pagans and occultists are bibliophiles. How else can we expect to plumb the depths of the mysteries both religious and spiritual that make up our realms? Many, if not most, of us rely on the words of those who have come before us or those who are on a different path but can offer tantalizing bits of insight from where they are.

But here lately I’m noticing a few things I must have missed when I disconnected from the internet occult world in favor of combing the library for academic texts; these days it’s all about the Spooky Ooky and the obscenely priced. Oh yes my friend. If you can conjure visions of demons, hell-hounds, Dean Winchester, the Boogie Man, and a touch of Samael in your book not only will it sell, but it will sell for hundreds and then thousands once the artificially scarce text hits the auction sites.

Dark ritualz! Evocationz! Only one million moniez!!!!!

Dark ritualz! Evocationz! Only one million moniez!!!!!

And occultists are gobbling it up left and right and I guess I’m  just a little perplexed because it all seems so suburban and contrived. Then I remember that this realm of grimoire and magic circles, this silent cacophony (fuck yeah! You like that?) called Western Esotericism was originally the realm of the suburban, well-off, European male and much of the cultural attitudes attached to this brilliant heritage has trickled down to the modern day. So you’re scoffed at as not a “real” magician if you’re not willing to put a car downpayment’s worth of money on a text. And PDF’s? Why, think of the authors! (Never mind the fact that the scarcity price never really reaches the author anyway.)

And for what? For this? So you can have what essentially looks like a crap White Zombie cover with usually subpar writing? “But it’s demonic! And LHP! And OMGZ ENOCHIAN BANISHING SIGIL!” Calm down Asstiel, Magus of the Lord. It isn’t that serious.

HELL! Or…someone’s lonely studio. I’m not sure.

 

So why am I even saying anything? I mean, if I think the current trend of book-sellers hocking 150 paged tomes for $200 so someone can get their Hellraiser on than I just shouldn’t buy the books. And you’re right. I don’t. I’ll scoop up something interesting if it’s under $50 (especially if not’s an academic work) and go about my merry way. But I think this “current” as some would call it is making occultism seem like the most pompous game of Magic the Gathering ever. Who can collect the most expensive books instead of who is doing the most work? Who can come across as the least “fluffy” or “RHP” instead of who can actually produce material WORTH the money they charge.

I’ve read the torrents. Some of these people have A  LOT OF nerve.

And in the end I guess my eyebrow raises at the attitude within parts of the occult community that scamming fellow occultists with outrageous text prices for subjective information (most of which is UPG to the nth. You have no idea how many times I’ve read about someone purchasing a Super-Spooky-Grimoire-of-+4-to-Satan’s-Balls only to have nothing in it work for them) is a form of “wealth magic” when, any place else, we’d just call it “being a dick.”

herm

I just felt like putting this here.

Occultists can be dicks too you know. So I guess this will be the last time I ever mention how much this whole thing irks me ever again. Because I wrote about it, talked to my husband about it, posted on Facebook about it, and questioned my cats about it and I think it’s totally out of my system.

Well, at least until I see another ass-clown attempting to sell a magic circle in a “demonic tongue” for over $200.

 

Polytheist Classifieds: Seeker ISO Self-Help?

Normally, I don’t do “response posts” on my blog. This is mainly because I am so petulantly self-absorbed I can rarely pull my head out of my own world enough to care what someone else has to say about anything spirituality related. Or as the song goes; 

Ain’t no bubble like a Nikki D bubble

Cause the Nikki D bubble don’t stop.

But after reading a couple of blog posts about some polytheists viewing the gods as their private self-help gurus  (Now with 25% less Chopra. You’re welcome.) and how this is dirty/bad/wrong/show me on the doll where the impious one touched you, I felt it was necessary to weigh in with my very important commentary. Here we go y’all;

Who the fuck cares?   Image

Flippant? Yes. Brutish? Maybe. Bratty? Fuck yeah. Wanna spank me for it? Unless someone is leading a large scale pagan organization (and insisting everyone go their way or the highway) or attempting to represent me to the media/world at large, it isn’t my business what kind of relationship some pagan has with their deity and I’m sure the gods are pretty damn good at speaking to their would-be followers on their own behalf; especially if they are offended.

Does this mean I don’t giggle a bit at chicks who are conveniently “dating Loki”  after Tom Hiddleston douched him up for a half-baked plot in a Marvel flick? Maybe a little. Does that mean that I sometimes get annoyed by neo-pagans who turn every meet-and-greet into a group-therapy session where I can’t fart to the left without worrying I’m going to “trigger” something? Yeah. A tad. But honestly, if this is what people need to move them along in their spiritual journey than the best I can do (And this is just me. YMMV) is let them have it. I can’t think of ONE pagan who has not experienced periods of growth that they believed was divinely directed AND considering the power of these deities we revere, love, and worship who are we as mortals to say that they might NOT be filling that role for someone? Who are we to say that this isn’t a pre-req for that follower becoming something amazing and potent for that deity afterward? 

Basically, what the fuck do we actually know?

And I’m not talking about the academic texts, or the lore, or the written word of an elite few (I know there are Hellenists who worship Athenian religion like it spews forth golden orthodoxic cum from it’s archaecock). I’m talking about down in the ditches and trenches, in the mud, in the dirt, in the back of some alleyway in Samos where even the whore’s STDs had STDs. In the homes of the slaves and the outrageously poor and the social outcasts. How can we say, for sure, that some god wasn’t spending a milisecond of its time whispering encouragement (or well placed wise cracks/admonition) into the ear of a devotee to it?

As human beings, as mortals, how the hell do we know anything and how do we even think we can speak for what the gods can and cannot “be?” Last I checked they could “be” whatever the hell they wanted to “be”. We’re just along for the ride, making the best with what we’ve got and trying to keep up. 

This isn’t to say I don’t get the dialogue because I do. These kinds of arguments have been going on for aeons. The birth of philosophy was probably some dude looking at another dude and saying “That mook is doing it wrong.” But I guess I just don’t understand the mentality, especially when it’s supposedly done in the name of “peity” or “respect.” Because that doesn’t seem very respectful to me at all…

I just seems like someone with way too much available time that they could be spending dealing with their OWN faith and practice.

But what the fuck do I know?

Ain’t no bubble like  a Nikki D bubble

Cause a Nikki D bubble don’t stop.

The Agony and the Ecstacy: Star dust, LVX, and Fundamental Materialism.

Expanding my social circle and opening myself to new people and experiences has led me to a couple of conclusions that will probably change in the near future but here goes; 1. Fundamental materialism seems to be all the rage and 2. Fundamental materialists annoy the fuck out of me. Image

My journey into the mountains has taken me into some strange corners. From Thracian magic to Balkan witchcraft and Slavic religion to the writings of authors like Timothy Leary, Terrance McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson. Ever the curious hard-head I decided to partake in the experience of noted psyconauts the world over. I’ve had three such experiences and each has been different from the one before it and provided a depth of wonder and awe at the true scope of my own mind and what lies in its recesses.

My first “trip” had me tearfully asking whatever spirits I was talking to why it was necessary for me to have so many painful and humbling experiences. “We needed you to be strong.” And that was it. No explanation as to who these “we” were or even why or what I was “needed” for. A question that, in my mind, required so much more than what I was given was answered with a simple sentence. This experience is part of my UPG, another paragraph in this chapter of my relationship with the divinities who have called me out from my home.

The third time I decided to share this experience with a new potential friend. This individual may not be a fundamental materialist per se, but he’s close enough where it made an experience that is usually powerful in its spiritual application, feel tainted and muted. During the course of the evening, waves of loneliness and misery permeated the air surrounding us, a complete disbelief in the wonders of a world beyond our understanding seemed to weigh me down as much as it did him.

He sucked the joy out of the experience and replaced it with a thready anxiety whereupon I was completely unable to focus on the ecstacy of the connections I had experienced before. A once sacred space had become like dirty ditch water disturbed by heaved stones. And, in the end, I began to think that this is what fundamental materialism is; the absence of wonder in the face of the unexplainable and the unwillingness to just “be” in that state. It’s fear of what is unknown wrapped in a protective veneer of “if it can’t be explained by reason/science it doesn’t exist.” It’s a control mechanism. It’s a self-imposed agony that leaves one always searching for an illusive contentment through mortal understanding. Hubris in its highest form.

I am aware this is just my own judgment and I am also aware that I could be horribly wrong. Whenever I’m in an altered state I sense and perceive things differently. Emotions come rushing into me and I can observe them without being a part of them if that makes any sense. Maybe all of that star dust we are made of speaks through us to other particles in a language we can’t measure, understand, or comprehend. But I am fine with that, not comprehending for now is part of the ecstacy of being a human being.

Discovery is, itself, an ecstatic experience. Image

That sense of stubborn agony has no place in the sanctuary that has been created in this house.

I’ve since cleaned, and cleansed, my home and the vibrations have reset to the natural warmth that makes friends, and spirits, alike constant visitors.

Our space, this space, is made for ecstacy. It is a choice.

And there is a difference between choosing healthy skepticism through experience and the willful desire to be miserable for the sake of rationality.

The latter has no place is in this house either.

Words Mean Things: On Redefinition

ImageWords have meanings. I don’t think anyone will argue with this and even if they did they’d have to concede that without meaning words are pretty damned useless. A rose by any other name is still a rose, unless you’re from a planet where roses don’t exist in which case you’d probably rename it fribble-trib and become agitated when noone else knew what you were talking about.

So when it comes to words like “Hellenist” and “Hellenismos” or even “Hellenic Polytheist”, there are certain expectations surrounding what these words come to signify when applied to a particular individual. And, here lately, the label of Hellenic Polytheist while once entirely accurate no longer represents my religion and spirituality. Dionysos still presides over my home and heart, but he has become an all encompassing force in his own right and my very new relationship with The Morning Star has taken up whatever cinders are left behind.

This isn’t to say that I do not revere and respect the rest of my pantheon but it’s almost like having a very loud car radio that slowly becomes less clear as you drive farther from the city. I’ve tripped the light fantastic into realms of chaos and physical magic, into evocation and experimentation within a tangled skein of paradigms and as terrifying as some of these changes have been (and continue to be at times) the deities and energies that surround me have changed to the point that I no longer feel comfortable labelling myself as a Hellenic anything-at-all.

Once led to the mountains, I followed down into Thrace and right when I thought I was settled at “home”, I travelled further north among lands and people I never knew nor ever had a reason to know. And I was passed, back and forth, like a spliff of the good shit between friends. I’m on another journey, one tour guide familiar and the other not-so-much. Different road signs and intentions.

I feel sheepish sharing this here because I’m still ridiculously uncomfortable with my own UPG despite working on it with the help of fellows-in-faith who  are understanding but graduated from similar schools of hard-knocks.

So for now, I’ll set my old label aside and follow where I am led. Maybe I’ll end up with another concrete way to define myself (I have a strange feeling I’m being “asked” to release this need) or maybe I’ll turn up on some shore completely frost bitten and confused but all the better for it.

Who knows?

Well they know, but I have a feeling I’m not being given any hints any time soon.

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