Thursday, September 27, 2007


So, what do I mean when I speak of the "esoteric?"

The definition of esoteric is something likely to be understood by a few with specialized knowledge or interest. That is to say, something that is fairly "hidden" in a sense from the common man. The Mysteries, for example, were esoteric in that they were known only to a select few, the initiated.

In a broader definition, one others may not necessarily agree with, I see esoteric as meaning "occult" or "mystical." These are things that have always bothered me. I believe that esoteric knowledge is essentially selfish. If something is useful to mankind, I think it should be shared openly. That aside, however, I am very much against the idea of magic as anything other than fantasy and ritual. As pure ritual, magical ritual is no different from any other. I have no issues with magical ritual.

My issues are with those who claim to possess special preternatural powers. Powers that they feel they should not prove because they should just be believed at their claims. As a rational person, I very much oppose this kind of insistence on blind faith. I don't think the Gods approve of it either. And I certainly do not see a God like Apollo approving of that kind of blindness.

But is Apollo calling me to something esoteric?

I think he may be, but what?

Is there a mystery unfolding before my eyes that I am just not seeing? And if so how do I see it?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Difficulty with Apollo

So, here we are, I am struggling with Apollo. He is a god who I have never had much of a calling toward, and as a result I am finding it difficult to break the ice, so to speak. Gods are not people. One does not simply sit with a god and have tea, even if there are kooks out there who claim to do just that. Gods communicate with us, but not just us. Gods stir the world into action, not just us. Gods have means and needs and functions that have nothing to do with us just as they have those that matter very much to us.

The Gods are not our personal assistants. It is not their job to make sure we win football games or lotteries or care for our children. Do they offer protection and favor to those who seek them out? I suppose they do, though I suspect that they do not always do so the way we think they should. I ask Apollo for guidance in understanding myself, in healing myself, and he sends me into turmoil, misunderstanding, and confusion.

I don't judge this to be bad, only that I should always be careful what I ask of the Gods. They may very well give it to me.

But my difficulty with Apollo is stemming from myself, not him. I feel that I disappoint him, and that is a difficult thing for me to personally deal with. But, also, I have to remember that while I am seeking them, the Gods, in my attempts at self healing, it is still "self healing" and it is my own mind, my own unwillingness to open myself up that is causing my problems.

When I asked the God for a vision, a dream, or some such, he sent me one. It made sense, in a way, and yet I have not heeded it. I have still walked away from the orgy, so to speak, i have looked at something I really want, in the dream it is the beautiful Colton Ford, in life it is my own inner health, and just as I turn away from the tent in the dream and enter my childhood home, I feel that I turn away from my inner health in life and tunr instead to the pain and torture of a great deal of my childhood. I cling to it like a safety blanket because it is what I know, and turn from what I do not know because I fear it.

Singing the Moola Mantra the other day (The Moola Mantra invokes deity in somewhat vague forms, so I do not feel as if I am invoking something I should not.) I was touched by what it implies. It is like the longing of a soul to open itself up to the greatness of the divine. Of opening itself up to life and finally, truly, being alive in the truest sense.

I have often been accused of being afraid of the more esoteric forms of worship in our tradition, I must admit that, as Apollo is painfully revealing to me, and Hestia has as well (remember that I realized that I was isolating myself too much in my concept of home) I have indeed allowed my own fear to guide too much of what I believe. That just as the man in the dream turns from ecstasy for the safety of home, I turn away from the ecstatic for the safety of my false certainty.

That, ladies and germs, is a hard one for me to admit. I am a bit too arrogant in my own mind to admit that easily, but the Gods are requiring of me nothing if not my honesty, and I am obliged to give that for my own benefit.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

If the Inner Choir stops singing...

Blessed Musagetes leads me to question certain things about myself, like my fear of public performance.

I am told I have a very pleasant and forceful voice. It resonates well with people who hear it, but I always make it clear that there is no sense in asking me to sing, I just can't do it, not in front of an audience. Oh, sure, my shower curtain has gotten some really good concerts, and my computer screen must be tired o listening to me sing along with Deva Premal or The Sugarcubes or Margareth Menezes, but when it comes to people, I have a very distinct phobia about singing before them.

So, if music is indeed to be something of a conduit for my understanding of how Apollo is going to aid me, should I not do something to overcome this fear? I don't know. I have no aspirations to be a singer, but maybe this phobia, this fear, is connected to something else, something deeper.

So, I turn to him, I ask that he gives me some clue, some guiding dream or vision, and I get the same dumb dream, albeit not exactly the same, of myself in that childhood home and the tent with the wild orgy going inside and the beautiful porn actor asking that I join them only to have me walk away from him, even though I would love nothing better than to jump his bones. Why?

Oh, i have given this dream some thought, of course, and I have come to the conclusion that he asks me to look at who I am by seeing who I was and why I chose, CHOSE, to be as I am in reaction to how I was, but why is it that music and this, including the obvious sexual imagery, are connected?

I have tried to think on it, and there are some obvious ideas at play here, including music as a medium for the transmission of eroticism (music can be very erotic) but it seems unsatisfying as an answer. Music as an expression of inner emotion, is a good reason, of course, but so obvious as to be laughable. What part of me has been broken or damaged by what I was that music can somehow help fix?

And here is another question, can our "inner choir" break? Can the inner voices that bring us inspiration, impulse, desire, etc. stop functioning, and am i being warned that, perhaps, this inner choir of voices and emotions is on the verge of breaking?

It is a good question, and one I may not be able to answer on my own.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Another little Mantra

Στην αρχή.
Φως και σκοτάδι.
Σας χαιρετίζω!

Sing the first five lines as if a single sentence, but clearly pronouncing the words, as part of the power of Mantras is that they are believed to have power over us. They have an innate power to change the way we think and feel, giving us a greater capacity to reach states of being that help to enlighten us. The last two lines individually.

Because Mantras are so central to Hindu prayer, they tend to be seen as Hindu or Eastern practice, but prayer is universally seen as a means to reach into the higher plane, to make contact with the divine, so if this helps in some way, we should go for it.

As always, if you see errors in my Greek (or the other languages) let me know.


STEEN ahr-HEE (when I place an H in initial position take it as an aspirated and slightly guttural H sound similar to the CH in Scottish)
eh-lah-FREESS keh skoh-TAH-dhee (dh is a soft TH sound, slightly voiced but not heavily aspirated)
SAHS heh-reh-TEE-zoh


In the beginning.
Light and darkness.
I salute you!

In the beginning.
Light and darkness.
I salute you!

En el principio.
Luz y oscuridad.
¡Los saludo!

No começo.
Luz e escuridão.
Eu os saudo!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Disappointing Apollo

So, I am smacked in the face with a realization as I continue to ponder the things I am asking Apollo to reveal to me, and among these is the distinct feeling that I am disappointing Apollo, the God of Light. That is not an easy thing to realize or think. We are talking about Apollo here. If I were disappointing Ares for not being martial enough (And I am sure I am) I can live with that. If I disappoint Artemis by being overtly sexual, slutty even, I can live with that. But Apollo?

Of all the Gods, this God is the one who seems to symbolize the modern man the best. Strong, beautiful, powerful, yet at the same time thoughtful and civilized to a fault. It gives me a feeling of, well, despair, thinking about that.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The inner choir

Music, in this leg of my journey, is playing a central role because it is a means by which I soothe my soul and quiet the turmoil of my mind. The chaos of my brain is stilled, if only momentarily, by the rhythm of music, by the sound of the human voice enraptured in song. It allows me to move with deliberation into moments of my life, memories, that are relevant to who I am and why I am the way I am.

Apollo is wise, and as the maxim says, all things must be taken in moderation, and the steps I take toward a sense of healing must come one at a time.

Meditating on a variety of thngs this week have lead me to some conclusions that I don't like, but which are true when I am honest with myself.

One of the things that has bothered, or even tormented me, in my life is my physical appearance. I have allowed myself to become fat and ugly in a world where beauty is a desired state. I have allowed myself to become fearful, in a world that requires courage. I have been isolated in a world that requires interaction.

All of these contribute to my "physical appearance" because, and I have to thank Apollo for this, I am beginning to see that I have not allowed myself to become these things, but have willfully become these things in an attempt to hide from something very fundamental to my nature as a human being, the idea that the son becomes the father.

My father is not a good man. Sure, he is fairly normal these days, but he is becoming an old man and, perhaps, is learning to regret much of what he did to us as we grew up. I, however, cannot forget, or at this point forgive, him for any of it. Yet my whole life I have been burdened with a problem, and that is that I look just like him. My facem hair, height, all of it a reflection of him, and I think part of me has purposely gone out of my way to stop myself from looking like him by deforming myself. But as he has ggrown older he too has become a bigger man, and I have managed to do the exact opposite, I have somehow made myself look more like him than ever before.

The curse of the self fulfilling prophecy.

Apollo was often invoked through a practice called incubation. It is a practice in which a god is invited to enter our dreams to help us see things clearly, to offer up advice on how to heal, etc.

Just two nights ago, after I extinguished my hearth candle and lay myself down to sleep, I invited Apollo to grant me a vision, a dream, that would help me, and in doing so I opened the door for all of this. I had a dream, and it was a very sexually charged dream, but one that remained strangely G rated, except for the nudity.

I was back in Cibao, in that house my mother had to fix up after my father abandoned us, and there was a tent outside, small, like something you take camping, and there was a huge orgy going on inside and I, and an unknown and essentially non-descript person, had a beautiful man, I recognize him now as singer and sometime porn actor Colton Ford, tied up. He was not a captive, he was a willing participant, and I, and the non-decript other, picked him up and took him to the tent ad put him inside.

I was welcome to come in, in fact, the beautiful man wanted me to come in, but I refused, staying outside and walking back into that house.

I woke up thnking it a strange dream, but now that i have given it some thought I am aware of something remarkable about the dream. I was a child when I lived in that house. And the tent was filled with adult activty. The beautiful man was inviting me to leave my childhood behind, to leave the pain and suffering of that childhood where it belonged, in the past, and join him in the adult world. To join him in rejoicing in being a living, breathing, and fully engaged human being. To join him in being a man and relegate the hurt boy to his proper place in my life.

It is an amazing thing to realize, of course, that a God has heard you and answered. I may not necessarily like what he has said to me, after all, if I am acting too much like a boy, not being a man in his eyes, than i am disappointing him. I am disappointing Apollo, and that is something else to deal with. Something hard.

The music is pushing me to seek myself out, and in so doing it is forcing me to face my inner choir. Those inner voices that sing the song that is me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Back to Apollo and the sacred sound of music...

Apollo is the God of music. More importantly, he is the god of the inspiration behind music. He is Musagetes, the leader of the Muses, and together they inspire the artistic impulse of man. But I want to focus a bit on music and how it affects us, and more importantly, how we can use it to change ourselves and be healed, another aspect of this God.

For many many years now, I can't say I remember exactly how many, I have been a fan of a particular style of music that is referred to as New Age, but don't mistake what that means. I do not like Yanni, I do not like most of what is called New Age, but rather, there is a very special type of New Age music that tends toward a fusion of cultural styles. Among the artists most famous in this particular category of New Age are Enya, Maire Brennan, Azam Ali, Niyaz, Vas, Deva Premal, Rasa, Paul Schwartz, and a few others whose names escape me right now.

What is different between these artists and other New Age artists is a reliance on traditional sounds and styles that help to inform us of something far deeper in ourselves and them (the artists) that needs expressing. Something profound and powerful.

These also have something else in common. They tend to be melodic and almost hark back to a medieval or gothic vocal style that includes things like choirs, and some are even distinctly religious (Rasa and Deva Premal are both part of the Hindu/Indian tradition, Maire Brenna and Paul Schwartz are both distinctly Christian, and Azam Ali sings song of Persian Islamic style and content) and it is here that they tend to find in me a certain resonance.

Religious feeling has always made for profoundly powerful music, but whatever the religion, it has always also carried with it a powerful ability to lift us up from the mundane and into a higher state of mind. It is this that attracts me to these particular artists. It is this that I trust in when I think about Apollo and the power he conveys in humanity's love of music. A love that is almost universal, for every culture on Earth has its own connection to this primal power. Every human being has an intrinsic attraction to it, and it can heal us, make us feel whole, spiritual, and alive.

I just bought Deva Premal sings the Moola Mantra, and if you have any love for this kind of uplifting force, if you trust in the healing power of music, you should give it a shot.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Corrected translation...

Thanks to Diodoros on the Hellenic boards for offering up this corrected translation into the Greek.

Κύριε τού Φωτός
τού Τραγουδιού
τής Τέχνης
τούς τοίχους πού μέ πολιορκούν
Nά μέ φωτίσεις έλα


KEE-ree-eh too fo-TOHS
KEE-ree-eh too trah-goo-dee-OO
KEE-ree-eh tees TEHCH-nees
SPAH-seh toos TEE-hoos poo meh poh-lee-or-HOON
NAH meh foh-TEE-sees EH-la

(Don't aspirate the T's)

Apollo of the sacred sound...

Apollos is a God of art, music, dancing and all manner of forms of expression of the emotional self to the external world. While he himself is seldom painted as an overly emotional being, he is none the less depicted as a being that expresses emotion in ways that are controlled and full of silent passion.

Art, for example, is a means of expressing great emotion. Anger, rage, love, passion, lust, they are all emotional states of being that we human beings experience on a daily basis, and the artist expresses in song, paint, sculpture or any other medium of artistic expression you can imagine.

Like apollo, I am a rather reserved person. I express in writing, in artwork, and in my choice of music and while singing in the shower. I have come to fall in love with a certain kind of music and chant that has its origins in the Eastern world, India, to be precise, and it is very much part of the hindu, Hare Krishna, and Buddhist movements today, and to some extent the Pagan movements of the world.

A good example of this is the Mantras put to music of such artists as
Deva Premal and Rasa, and I have wondered for a while now how we might, as Hellenists, seek to put Mantras devoted to our own gods to work in helping us achieve a greater sense of connection to the Gods.

I was a little inspired, and so I wrote one for Apollo.

I started with an English mantra, which is essentially something short that can be repeated over and over in the mind, either simply spoken or chanted to a rhythm or music.

Lord of Light.
Lord of Song.
Lord of Art.
Break the walls that surround me!
Come forth and enlighten me!

I then ran this through a translator, as my Greek is basically phrase book stuff at this point.

Λόρδος του φωτός.
Λόρδος του τραγουδιού.
Λόρδος του σπασίματος αρθ.
Oi tοίχοι που με περιβάλλουν!
Ελάτε εμπρός και με διαφωτίστε!

Now, I can pronounce this. It will take me a while to get it memorized so that I can chant it in a varying set of rhythms so that can actually meditate as I do so, using it as a way to set the mind into a meditative state, but I think it will work. At this point, however, I need someone to look at this and correct it so that it is in proper Greek (Modern, not ancient, as I do not subscribe to the idea that ancient Greek is somehow more sacred than modern)

I also translated it into Spanish:

Señor de la luz.
Señor de la canción.
Señor del arte.
¡Rompa las paredes que me rodean!
¡Venga adelante y acláreme!

and Portuguese:

Senhor da luz.
Senhor da canção.
Senhor da arte.
Quebre as paredes que me cercam!
Venha adiante e me ilumine!

(I couldn't remember the word for enlighten. I guessed, I think correctly, but if it's wrong let me know)

I tried Italian, but I am very very very rusty...

In any case, I am going to give this mantra a shot, gotta find something instrumental that will work, like Enya or a Maire Brennan instrumental, and hopefully I can stand before Apollo better, perhaps better understand him this way, by expressing my heart to him in a way he sems to rejoice in. Controlled and purposeful.