Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Divination...

So, I said I was going to ask the God, Apollo, some questions and sought to get answers through the drawing of cards. The method was simple, I ask a question and draw two cards. If the first drawn card is higher than the second, the answer is in the affirmative, if the second one is higher it is in the negative.

I asked a few questions, they pertained to this endeavor, and the main questions I asked were as follows:
Question: Answer:
Is my name Jaime? No
Is my name Eric? No
Is my name Hector? Yes
Am I correct in moving on to the next God? No
Should I hold off another week? Yes
Another Month? No
Is my family doing ok? No
Is my sister A ok? No
Will I be of help to her? Yes
Should I pay another visit? No
Should I move back? Yes

Allow me to clear up a few things.

When I asked about my family and got a negative answer, I proceeded to ask about the individual members of my family. My sister, whose initial I used here, was the only one that came up in the negative. When I left CT after New Years to come back home, I was a little worried about her, and I think my worry was not unfounded.

When I asked about moving, I did so after asking if my life in Dayton was going to improve over the next year. I was surprised that Columbus was met with a negative, as it is an ideal place for me at this point, but I will have to give it much thought. Asking about moving back to CT was as a way that, perhaps, my presence could be of help to my sister, and the answer in the affirmative surprised me because there is no way I can afford to live in Connecticut any more. New England has simply become an elitist ground for the rich, where once it was possible for someone like me to live there, it has become impossible for me to live, alone and unhindered, in that area any more.

I did ask one more question, and the answer made me smile, but I will keep that one to myself...

Sunday, January 27, 2008


So, where am I so far? Have I come even close to understanding how Apollo s supposed to help me at this point? Am I even being presumptuous to assume he would help me? Am I looking in the right directions and with the right questions in my heart? Is there ever really a way to know that until after the fact?

I have always been against the idea of prophecy. I tend to consider it stupid. We have to live in the here and now and make decisions to create tomorrow, attempts to know tomorrow are, in my opinion, a delusion in which we seek to relieve ourselves of the responsibilities of our own decisions. As fucked up as I am, I tend to think that I am in this sense responsible enough to know that I cannot relieve myself of those responsibilities.

But what of a guiding hand? Is it wrong to seek out a little guidance from heaven?

In answer to this I have decided that it may be time to move away from Apollo and proceed to the next step, that perhaps the way the God has decided to help me is by forcing myself to ask questions I cannot really answer and thus realize that I am not as in control as I like to think I am. That in the end, the lesson he had to teach me was a simple slap down.

I have, however, decided to take some time today to ask him a couple of questions. Questions that I hope he can answer through the simple drawing of cards. The method is simple. One pack of ordinary playing cards. Two cards per question. You ask the question and draw two cards, if the first card drawn is higher than the second, the answer is yes or in the affirmative/positive. If the second card drawn is higher, the answer is no or in the negative.

I will try this after I do some meditation today, and I will post details about the questions and answers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Emotional Void: More on selfishnes and naivete

If I am selfish, then I am also a bit naive. In my work I am often called upon to do favors for my bosses only to then be screwed out of hours, money, and other things that having a job is supposed to help one attain. Others, who selfishly guard their positions by not doing the favors necessary to keep the place running seem to be doing just fine, they keep their hours, their pay, their benefits.

Is a certain level of selfishness something I am going to have to foster in myself in order to get the things I need out of life? And if one level of selfishness is OK, why is another so obviously wrong?

The answers seem clear, but I have to ask myself, am I being naive in thinking that if I lower myself to the same selfish level as my co-workers do I not become them? And, do I want to do that? Become the people I have until now considered part of a greater problem.

Does being selfish in one aspect of my life cause me to overcompensate and become a floor mat in another? Would simply switching where I am selfish be the answer, or is this a means by which the God is telling me I need to remove my ego, my selfishness, and my self centered needs out of the equation.

The Delphic Maxim which reads "γνωθι σεαυτόν", which translates as "know yourself" is generally thought of as an Apollonian kind of precept, and as such I have to consider if this is all he is saying to me right now. Know myself before I am so presumptuous as to think I can know him.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Emotional Void: Selfishness

Am I selfish?

It is a question that has to naturally arise for me as I explore Apollo, because Apollo forces you to look at yourself as if through his eyes, and looking at yourself through the objective eyes of a God is not a pleasant thing. We are, all of us, selfish and rude and obnoxious at some levels of our being. Our inner child demands lots of attention, is self centered, and it wants, incessantly. It is our job as people to help balance the needs of that inner child with the reality of what is available, wise, and not hurtful to others.

But am I selfish on more than just a core instinctive level?

The answer I got was yes, and that is really bothering me. What do I give back, to the world around me, to pagans, to my fellow Hellenistoi, to my city and nation?

On some levels, I have made of myself a sacrifice, and have been belittled for it, laughed at, because I have always chosen a life that was rather spartan (in the modern sense of the word) by not driving, riding a bike, trying to use as little paper as possible, etc. I feel that I give back to our divine mother by doing as little as I can to damage the world she gave us as a trust, not a gift.

But do I give back to the Gods and my communities in other ways?

I have tried, of course, and money to several organizations has in the past been a source of pride, but as it has become harder and harder to make a living out here I have had to stop doing that, and part of me really regrets that.

I have kept myself rather distant from the Pagan community, part of it is the fact that I am a little agoraphobic, but a lot of it has to do with a sense of apathy toward the whole neo-pagan movement. It's too bad I feel that way, because some of the nicest people I have met have been these same neo-pagans.

But aside from those things which mark me more as anti-social or maybe even a little neurotic, at what other levels am I selfish?

Am I selfish with my feelings? Am I selfish with regard to my friends? Am I selfish in my dealings with my family, which prompted this exploration in the first place, because I expect them to somehow bring out something in me that may not be there to begin with, or which I keep hidden?

Questions, questions, and more friggin questions.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The emotional void

Society, and the hispanic macho culture, teach men to be cold. We are supposed to be stone cold when it comes to things like crying and feeling vulnerable, but that is the very thing that damages us. That is the very thing that encourages such negative things as homophobia and misogyny. Being gay, of course, means that I have learned to move beyond that macho culture in many ways, being American means I have learned to see women as my equals in most things. Matters of distinction are not about misogyny but about understanding the differences between us and not placing value judgments on them. Thus, men being physically stronger than women on the average is not a better thing, just a different thing about us as people.

But the way the macho culture took hold in me as a child, that most influential of periods being spent in a hispanic land rather than an anglo one, has left me with something of a problem. An emotional void that makes it difficult for me to connect with people on a very close or intimate level.

Don't get me wrong, I love. I have been in love and have lost that love, and in the last few years in particular I have allowed myself a greater freedom to express those feelings. But in general, I am quite distanced from my feelings, so much so that I can clearly interact with people in emotional distress and not feel the least bit moved by their plight. I can see things of evil and not feel touched by it at all.

That is not a good thing.

So here I am, facing Apollo and feeling so very confused about how I am supposed to approach him. Is my emotional distance something the God disapproves of or is this the lesson he is trying to force me to understand? It is impossible to know for sure except that I have to take it on faith that whatever lessons I am supposed to learn I will, and hope they are the right ones.

I hope to post again later today after I have given some thought to Apollo as both healer and destroyer on an emotional level.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year

I just got back from a vacation in Connecticut where I visited my family for the New Year. There is not much to say about it, it is family and that entails all of the regular family issues plus some of the issues that are unique to my family and myself which we will discuss a little bit.

Apollo is not a God who is usually perceived as holding much by way of influence on family matters, but that is because most people look at the surfce of things and tend to ignore the deep ocean of feeling and thought that accompany their familial connections.

I will give an example.

Apollo, as a God not as a mythic figure, is an influence in all parts of our lives. Like Athena, he has a special place in the scheme of things that forms the background of the totality. Thought and civility, like wisdom, are not things you do and then stop, they are things that accompany your every movement, thought, and emotion. They are the foundations of the emotional and intellectual life you build as you live. Thus when considering Apollo and the family connection there is much that he has influence in.

Before heading out to Connecticut to see my family I was excited to see them. I wanted to go, but once I got there and saw them I was done. I really wanted to leave, to get out of there, but had four days to just stew in my misery.

Why misery?

Well, it is me, not them. I am a very different person from my family. We have so little in common, and I am also a bit of a neurotic mess when it comes to being around others, including them, and I simply cannot find that connection to them that I think I should have, making it difficult. Yet, on the airplane heading home I was touched by a sense of loss at not seeing them again for what could be a year or more.

It is like my mind misses them but then can't stand to be near them all at the same time. I understand the missing them, but what about the not liking to be with them? What does that mean, and how do I let the fact that I am trying to connect to Apollo during this time influence how I proceed?

I think there is a lesson there, and that lesson is that I am allowing that part of me that is coldly intellectual, that thinks things through, too much control over my feelings. Oh, there are other reasons why I dislike being around them, I always feel like an alien around them, but the fact that I am cold inside with regard to my feelings would make it impossible for me to enjoy them anyway.

But how do I do that? How do I let Apollo's moderating influence exist in me while at the same time letting Dionysos' chaotic emotional roller coaster take me for a ride some times?

If you have suggestions, please, I want to hear them.

Happy New Year