Monday, October 29, 2007

Fate's hand...

I don't believe in Fate. Not in the traditional sense. I think Fate is all that is and has been, not what will be. What will be is simply open to chance, to probability and entropy. It is unpredictable.

But I do believe that we can achieve things in the world, and for ourselves that we set out to do without actually setting ourselves that goal, and that often, the hands of the Gods seem to play a part.

When I undertook this little scheme to follow the star into a path of self discovery, I knew I would also have to come to understand the Gods themselves as I know them in different ways, and one of those ways was to come to an understanding that my assumptions and knowledge of the Gods is necessarily flawed. I am, after all, human.

The hand of Fate steps in and forces us to do things we might not have otherwise done, and thus it is the force that lays out obstacles before us.

The hand of Fate is forcing me to make certain moves on this chess board called life that I am very unsure of right now.

I find myself at the cusp of what may be a very real relationship. What I have to try to do now is see if I can put my own selfish needs aside for someone else again. If I can face up to something I have never had to deal with before, a man who has children who must, by all means, come first in his life.

Apollo is forcing me to face up to these questions in my life. I now see that. But why him? I was certainly not expecting that matters of this type would come up at this point in my exploration. And as I ponder the dream of the commune and the witches, I think it makes sense to me now. The witches represent people who are different from me. The man I am seeing is a Christian, and if I am indeed heading into a relationship, I must try not to hurry into it, but rather, to respect the lay of the land and allow myself to learn what he is all about, what his faith may mean to him in contrast to my own.

We have not discussed such matters, he and I, and when next we have a sit down I must broach the subject. The last thing I want to do right now is find myself falling in love with him only to be rejected because of differences in religion. And since I will not give up my faith for anyone, it would end it if he asked me to.

Friday, October 26, 2007


So, in search of some kind of contact with Apollo I have sought out dreams as a way to let him in. As I lay myself down to sleep, I ask that he join me in my dreams, and he seems to do so, or at least that's how I am choosing to see it now.

So, I woke up yesterday and I had just had this dream, but as so often is the case with dreams, you remember it only then, as you wake, only to have it slip away. But then, as I made my way to work, it hit me again, the dream. It was really rather odd. I was in this situation, fully aware of it, immersed in it, and it went like this.

I was part of a commune, living in a shared home with, and this is the strange part, the elder witches from the movie Practical Magic. Now, I have to tell you, I have seen and did very much enjoy that movie, but it is not a movie I have seen many times, nor is it a personal favorite the way American Beauty or Children of Men is.

But the dream was not about these women, they were just part of the reality I was immersed in, and the dream, short as it was, was me standing with these elder witches looking at the big yard of our communal house and at the edge of the yard were a large trees. I said to the elder witches, and to Stockard Channing in particular, that what I wanted to do, my dream for the property, was to plant trees and turn it into a small forest and build into it small paths that lead to a shrine to the Gods.

She admonishes me, with a look of pity on her face, that I should be careful and respect the "slope of the land."

I'll be damned if I know what that means...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Apollon Akesios: Friendship and friendliness...

So, to follow the road laid out for me, I have made myself more open to people. My inherent sense of isolation and shyness has to be set aside, and my inherent fear of meeting new people has to be quashed. So, a friend from West of here has had surgery, and as a result he has been isolated and trapped on his couch. Looking forward to weeks of solitary life, another friend decides to get him out and about.

He can't walk too much, his heel is healing and he requires regular shots of pain killers to keep him sane, but we all decided that if he could make that effort to come out, we could make the effort to meet him out there for some drink and laughter.

It went splendidly.

So, I decide since I am already opening myself up to this, I might as well open myself up to something else, and I call up a guy I have been on a couple of dates with and invited him to join us. He wasn't sure he could make it, but said he would if he could, and thankfully, he did. It was a pleasant surprise to me to find that I really felt myself drawn to him. I wanted to be near him, and he, pleasantly enough, wanted to be with me too.

The night out with friends was a blast of fresh air. It woke me up to something I have been missing, and which both apollo and Hestia seem to have pointed out, human contact...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Apollon Akesios: More Distance...

So, Akesios is pushing me to explore this distance i have set up between myself and humanity, and, as a result, between myself and the Gods. I should have seen it immediately, really, since it was one of the things I ran right into when Hestia was my focus. In her case the relevant revelation was that my concept of "home" should not be so enclosing or protective that it allowed nothing in or me out.

The basic idea remains the same, and Akesios is forcing me to face the fact that I have not yet learned my lsson, a lesson Hestia tried to get me to acknowledge and now Apollo forces me to confront and solve before I can move forward.

The problem is that this is all a rather large puzzle. It actually marks a rather major part of my base personality that I tend to be a little distant, a little reluctant to share, a little private (not that you'd know that from reading this blog, but I actually am all of those things) and while I have developed rather strong attachments to Athena and Hestia over the years, I have never really tried to form deeper relationships with any of the other Gods, except maybe Aphrodite, who I have given more worship to than I care to admit (cough), but those have not been deep spiritual experiences on the level I am hoping to establish with all this.

First and foremost, I have to stop isolating myself, and part of that will have to mean getting further involved in the local pagan community, friends, gay community, family, etc. The problem with that is that my natural "shyness" comes into play, and it becomes almost unbearably stifling to me when unknown people are involved.

Do the Gods want me to further involve myself with other pagans? Family and friends are obvious, but other Pagans always bug me a little, and I have to wonder what it is I should learn there. I guess Akesios is telling me that I will never know until I try...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Apollon Akesios: Distance...

Distance is, and has always been, a problem for me. I never connected on an emotional level with my family, at least, not in the way most people seem to. For me, emotion is almost always intellectual in nature. When I see someone in need of help i help them because I think that is what a man should do, help someone in need. When I see a friend crying, I comfort him or her because I think that is what I should do, and because intellectually, it is something that I should do.

When it comes to family and close friends, there is a little bit more to it than that, but still, my reactions to whatever emotions come to me are intellectually motivated, not emotional impulse. This kind of emotional detachment is, I think, what Apollo wants me to explore first, and now that I think of it more carefully, it is something the dream indicates.

If you don't remember the dream, it was of a beautiful man, one colton ford, should you decide to look him up (beware, the images may not be kid friendly) and he is somehow bound and I, and someone I don't know, must carry him to a tent within which a wild orgy is occurring. He invites me to join in on the fun, and I decline, turning instead to enter my childhood home in Puerto Rico.

The distance there is that in the dream I am not the least bit desirous of entering the tent while in life I would probably jump in and have at it. And the decision seems, on retrospect, to be wholly unemotional. I turn away from something enjoyable, something that offers sensation and connection to the animal side of me, and that is something I do tend to do with regard to emotion.

Does the beautiful man represent emotion?

I need to try to explore that further...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Apollon Akesios

Akesios, or Alexikakos, is an epithet of Apollo that means "averter of evil" and Akesios is a form of the epithet used in Elis. As averter of evil, Apollon has many things in common with several other deities, if not all of them, who are known to be helpers of man in reference to the concept of "evil". So, is this the right place to start?

My recent inspiration to beg the gods to smite the horrid beast called Ann Coulter has lead me to conclude that yes, Akesios is the place to start. Why? Because my concept of evil is one that involves man, not some evil divine force, and the evil that we do, both to each other and to ourselves needs addressed.

So, what evils am I doing that need addressed, and am I doing things to myself or to others, or is it both?

My expression of hatred for Coulter is a clue, but it is not the hatred itself, because hatred is a perfectly natural human emotion, but how much am I allowing these negative feelings to control me, make something of me that the Gods dislike, and which, perhaps, I should dislike as well.

So, I must explore the negative attitudes I am expressing in my life.

Let's start with the generalities. I have a rather negative attitude toward people I disapprove of. At work this manifests as a sense of "Ugh!" when I see new clients walking in. It stems, perhaps, from a sense of bitterness that hides inside me from the earliest parts of my life, but it is something worth further exploration.

I have a somewhat negative attitude toward women. Not in a general sense, I get along fine with women, but I do also see a certain inequity and hypocrisy in the way women treat men that I find disturbing, and I find that I let it color my opinions with regard to them. Don't mistake this for misogyny, though, I have no hatred of women and am a firm believer in the equality of women, with equality being the key word there.

I am distant, not only from people I know here in Dayton, but from family back home. I am distant in a way that seems cold and uncaring, and it must affect those who care for me profoundly. Not sure if I can fix that one, it is such a part of who I am that I am rather self contained that I may be killing off a piece of myself that is important in some way.

Hmm, as I write this I am touched by the realization that this distance I hold toward people must also apply to the Gods. Hmmm!


Blessed Gods in gleaming Olympus
Lords of all you survey
Grant me this prayer.

Blessed Goddess of the bountiful Earth
Ladies of all the grows
Grant me this prayer.

Blessed King and Queen of the world below
Monarchs of death
Grant me this prayer.

Let Ann Coulter not be long for this world.
Let her success and celebrity falter.
Let her dark evil soul find no peace in this world.
May she be forever reminded of the hatred she spews as it returns to her.

If ever I have done you honor.
If ever the world has loved you.
Grant us this prayer.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

OK, still troubled over here...

OK, so I am being pushed. Pushed to explore him, the god of light, but here is the problem, he, Apollo, is being mean to me.

Unlike Hestia, whose exploration I took on with fervor and felt that she was helping me along, I feel that Apollo is actively pushing against me. The problem, of course, is in me. I think I am trying too hard. Trying to create something that is not there yet. I ran toward the wrong aspect of Apollo, the healer, before I was fully aware of what needed healing in me.

It hit me just now as I turned on RapidWeaver and searched my own heart in search of something to say. Apollo is pushing against me because I am in too much of a rush. I am trying to force a healing. Trying to force his hand. If there is even a small lesson in that it is this, Gods do not like being pushed. They act when they act, not any sooner, so no sense trying to force them to.

But, if the healer, perhaps Apollo's most famous aspect, is not the right aspect to start with, which is? Where am I right now? What do I see in the mirror that needs fixing and why?

So, here are some basic facts about me.

I am hispanic. Puerto Rican to be exact, and this often causes a problem in my own mind because I am fully Americanized, yet as I get older, I find myself realizing that I do hold some particularly hispanic attitudes toward certain aspects of our American culture. Not a bad thing, but I also realize that I may be a little too out of touch with my own Puerto Rican culture since it surprises me so much that I hold such attitudes.

I am 40 years old. OK, that's not a big deal, but it is a big deal from my own perspective. From my own mental image of myself, that seems off. I do not feel or look 40, and then I have to look at myself and ask, just what the hell is 40 supposed to feel and look like?

I am fat. Yes, fat. I got as fat as 340 pounds, and that is horrible, but I have managed to take it back down to about 240, and now I am faced with another problem, those last 70 pounds are hard to take off, and I am so not into the whole gym workout thing. I do get exercise, I bike anything from 12 to 20 miles a day, Summer or Winter, but maybe Apollo is telling me it is time for a different approach.

I am facing some health issues not related to my weight, and the fact that I am essentially poor means my ability to deal with them is very limited. Is there a way to deal with these things without money?

So, the healer needs to come last, it seems, but what aspect of Apollo need I meditate on to get myself rolling down the right path?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Exploring the epithets of Apollo

So, in his names we may find the answer. In the epithets he bears, in the way man named him as honor for his aid.

Perhaps the one I have already been invoking here is best to start with, Apollo Epikourios, who is Apollo the Helper or Healer.

Since I am placing myself in his hands in an attempt to better understand myself and therefore heal myself. It is important to understand that like all the gods, apollo is bringer of both light and darkness. Both healing and disease. He is balanced in a world that requires such balance to exist. Therefore when i asked apollo for help and rather than send me clear cut answers he sent me turmoil and a sense of disappointment, I was naturally worried. But the truth is that I should have expected it. The Gods seldom make things easy for us. We may be guided, but at every step on that path it is we who must make decisions, we who must choose, we who must interpret what we see around us properly while at the same time accepting that each interpretation may indeed be the correct one given a certain place and time and set of circumstances.

So when i seek out apollo and ask him to guide me and he chooses instead to make me sick, give me odd dreams and nightmares, make me feel insufficient to the tasks I place before myself, what is it he is saying to me?

Apollo Epikourios is the healer, the helper, but how he chooses to help is another thing to consider here.

One of the many forms of aid sought from Apollo and his mythic son Asklepios, who I see as an aspect of Apollo in much the same way as I see Herakles as an aspect of Zeus, was called incubation. Incubation is a form of intentional dreaming, if you will, but not in the same sense as one might consider lucid dreaming, but as a kind of deprivation.

Essentially, a person went to a temple, or perhaps a sacred cave, or some such place, and sought to remain in the presence of the sacred in an attempt to have the God guide one or perhaps heal one directly.

I have always wanted to do this, but I simply do not have any such place to turn to. Where should I go?

I have considered turning a large closet into a sacred space of this kind. Large enough to sleep in if necessary, though probably not comfortably, and perhaps find a way to connect.

If I really seek to heal myself, then I have to try this. Perhaps this will be a good project to document here...