Sunday, June 24, 2007

Meditations on the Star

As I have already said, I am attempting to look within myself, to explore different aspects of my own personality, but I have also been faced many times as I contemplate the Gods or pray at their altars (I actually have 4 of them in my home) with an image of a contiguous star with 12 points. When Hellenion was forming, I remember submitting the image for consideration as the Hellenion Logo, but Hellenion decided to go with the non-contiguous star because it looked better as a logo, offering more room at it's center for the Hearth Icon, which was a nice touch and one that was consistent with the way I pictured the fire at the center of the star.

This image seems persistent in my mind, for some reason, and I have come to accept it as a sign, if you will, as a symbol of what I need to do in my life.

The star is three fold, one star below the central one, another above it, and at each point one of the Olympian Gods. The Hearth at the center represents Hestia, of course, but it is more than Hestia, it is actually a unification. When I first concluded this I thought perhaps I was going a little nuts, as it would suggest, in some way, a kind of monism as one might find in Hinduism, but I actually came to the conclusion that that fire was not so much a representation of Hestia, the Goddess, but Hestia who sits at the center of our being, the spark of life, the flame that is mortal life, surrounded by the eternal Gods in their many aspects.

The fire is the soul and the body the home, if you will.

If the center is the human spirit, then the road to self examination and discovery does not really start with Hestia, in any dogmatic way, but by stepping onto the road that is the star and following it where the spirit needs to go.

However, once I start, I must follow where the star leads, and this is where it gets complicated, because it forces me to face a deity even if I am not quite ready.

Why is this?

OK, picture the Clock with it's twelve points. The names of the Gods arranged around it are as follows

12: Hestia
1: Hermes
2: Ares
3: Poseidon
4: Zeus
5: Apollo
6: Hephaestos
7: Demeter
8: Aphrodite
9: Athena
10: Hera
11: Artemis

If you picture this in your head you will notice that one side of the clock is Gods, the other Goddesses, and that the God/Goddess opposition is as follows


This is important because if you draw a contiguous line to form the 12 pointed star and follow that line starting at the 12 position (you might start elsewhere, but I started at 12, with Hestia) your next step after you have found what you feel you need from contemplation of Hestia, is to follow the road to the right, which leads you to Apollo at the 5 position, after that it is Hera at the 10 position, then Poseidon at the 3 position, etc.

Now, I normally don't let matters of "dogmatic correctness" stop me, I tend to worship as is fitting to me, but in this case, I think there is a clear purpose for this image. That the image is trifold could be a limitation in my own ability to visualize this star pattern as a three dimensional object, but I also think it is a representation of the three fold aspect of the Gods, not that all gods have only three aspects, but that these aspects fall into three categories. The Ouranic, or heavenly, the Chthonic, or dark and earthy aspects (as in the underworld) and the Earthly or elemental aspects (elemental referring to the physical interaction between the divine and the mortal realms) which I call Daemonic (I tend to think of the Daemonic aspects as those aspects of the Gods that speak to us in our own minds and suubconscious, the way Athena talks to Odysseus all the time in Iliad and Odyssey)

So, in order to follow through here, I have to face each god and allow myself to be guided by them into all three of their aspects, and this could well prove to be a life long process, and being essentially American, I hope I have the patience not to break down and give up.

So, t this point, I have started with Hestia, as the home (the body) and looking at the body as a kind of border between the inside and the outside, and seeking to break with my inherent tendency toward locking myself away from the world, which in itself is a danger many of us probably face, but also looking at the inner self and learning where those barriers are between the divine and me, the barriers that they will not topple for me, but which I must be willing to break into and allow them to enter...

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