Sunday, September 28, 2008

Capricious Fluidity

Fate is capricious. It is random, chaotic, and all together unfathomable. By fate I am not talking about predestination, that is something I do not believe in, but about the randomness of the things life throws at you and how from time to time those events happen one right after the other, all in a single week or month, and it often causes us to think that the heavens have it in for us.

In my last post I implied that maybe the storms and such that have been causing havoc in the last few years were being brought down upon us by the Gods. This is not an idle implication, in our mythos and ancient literature, such things are to be believed as true, yet in my personal beliefs, this is not to be seen too literally, even when I say it.

Poseidon, as Lord of fluidity, of things that change in the flowing rather than standing still or even being in constant motion (there is a distinct difference between the flowing motion of Poseidon and the perennial motion of Athena, for example)is also a lord of Fate if described as the flowing of time and the flow of events that we see as time. This is not to say that he is the actual Lord of Time, but rather that his power is instrumental in how it flows. It is not a coincidence that time is so often said to flow like water. Even if this is largely a perceptual issue, as some believe.

But, I have to put that aside for a bit and move on to what I really wanted to blog about. The coincidences of life are many. Our very individual existence is largely coincidental, yet in each of our lives things happen that we often wonder about. Earlier this year I had a month, May it was, in which I was hurt by allergies, by asthma, and by a sudden pneumonia and blockage of my lungs by fluids not related to the pneumonia or asthma. I then ended up in the hospital again after suffering bad vertigo, which I apparently will continue to suffer from for some time. It is benign, but can be troublesome, especially since I do not drive, choosing to bicycle instead.

All of that happened in the space of four weeks. This week, I find myself at odds with things electronic. From failing hard drives, to answering machines that stop working, computers that suddenly develop booting issues and a DSL modem that stops working, forcing me to buy a new one, it seems I am turning into Harry Dresden.

I am not sure I understand why this happens to me from time to time, but it always seems to happen in clusters. And it is no exageration that I can almost feel it coming. One electronic thing dies in my home, I start to expect several others to do so as well, and usuall it happens.

Are the Gods out to get me? Is Hermes playing practical jokes on me? Or is it simply that the fluidity of time, of fate, comes in waves, nd sometimes the waves just clash in a perfect storm of shit.

You know, many years ago, things like this would drive me to suicidal rages, but thanks to Hellenismos and the faith I have found in my Gods, these things bother me in very subtle and understandable ways, and so I can deal with them and not worry about it. Time moves on, flows forth, and so do I.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Storms and Such

So, it is probably common knowledge at this point that the storms that hit the gulf states a couple of weeks ago also wreaked havoc on the Midwest. From the Gulf of Mexico all the way up into Canada, the storm which bore names like Ike, left a swath of destruction as they held a great deal of their hurricane like form and force as they swept up onto the continent.

These storms left enormous areas all over Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, etc., without power and damage to property which will cost the already struggling economies of these areas more than they may be able to bear. As always with us who believe in the immanent nature of divinity (as well as the transcendent) we turn to looking at the reasons for such things. Why, for example, has Poseidon taken to such awesome examples of his power at this time? Are such things even the workings of the Gods in a concerted effort to communicate something to us, or are they simply the aftermath of their very presence? Are we humans so hubristic a species that we think all such things are meant for us?

Well, I suppose the answer to all of those is yes.

You see, turbulent weather, all weather actually, is the result of cause and effect. Sure, a system like weather is so vastly complex that it would be impossible for us to ever fully categorizes all the little causes hat lead to all the little effects that lead to all the bigger causes and effects, but they are, none the less, cause and effect, and as a result, all such things must be viewed as sign posts to other things.

If the storms we are witnessing are far more powerful now than they have been in recent decades, we must assume that there is something triggering that increase in power. It is too easy to say it is divine anger, though in the case of Poseidon, not too big a leap. If the Gods are immanent as well as transcendent, then it means that we as a species are, in essence, defiling the very fabric of their beings as we destroy our world. We are, in essence, shitting on them, and I have no doubt that is not something the Gods are all that willing to allow.

Contemplating at a time like this the nature of Poseidon brings to mind the story of the Phaeacians, who return Odysseus to his home Ithaca and are then punished for that kindness when Poseidon complains to Zeus that if they are not punished he will lose face with the other Gods and mortals alike. In essence, the order of life must be maintained, and he must now act to preserve that order by doing what we would think of as way too harsh a punishment, he destroys the kingdom of the Phaeacians utterly, their home sinking into the sea itself. Why does it remind me of this?

Well, like the Phaecians, we are not looking at the big picture here, and while they acted out of innocence, we act out of arrogance and willful disregard. How long before the Gods strike us down as a ntion, as a civilization, and just let another take our place. They are, after all, eternal, and patient beyond measure.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

An Aside...

Over the last two weeks, I have undertaken a few days of fasting, and today I start another three day fast in commemoration of the Mysteries of Demeter, which I celebrate in conjunction with the onset of Autumn.

I will not be undertaking any special event this year, except to remember the two goddesses especially on the first day of Autumn with offerings, but am hoping my fasts will be a sacrifice, as well as a benefit to my health in the long run.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Impressions of the God

Poseidon, lord of the sea, earth ruler, shaker of the foundations of the earth is a backward God. Don't misunderstand when I say that, it is not an insult, but rather a comment about the God as a kind of "conservative" element in the Olympian Pantheon.

Not particularly versed in his cult, I do get the impression that the cults of Poseidon were much more "old world" than those of say Athena, or Zeus. It is as if the cults of the God found a proper grounding in archaic forms, which again is not a negative, just a different outlook, than those of the Gods who seemed to flow into philosophy and high religion. A term, which I admit, is rife with a kind of arrogant representation of the more philosophical religious movements as inherently better than the older, more nature based religious cults and movements of the time.

Poseidon, as a God who seems almost stodgy as compared to Apollo for example, is a god who brings a different balance to Hellenismos. Where most of the other Gods seem to travel well into the many forms that Hellenismos takes in the modern world, including the more hippy/neo-witchy strains, Poseidon seems to ground himself so that even in the more eccentric and eclectic cults, he seems to stand as a force for considering, if not following, old ways.

When approached, Poseidon feels immensely old. This is not to say this feeling is a proper representation in the sense of linear time, after all, Gods are eternal, but as a representation of something old in ourselves that is immediately touched by the presence of this God. When we approach him, a part of us that still recalls living in the sea is touched. That part of us that us still the single celled organism floating in the primordial sea is made to stir. That part of us that somehow remember being in the amniotic fluids of the womb is touched and made to emote something primal, something powerful, something all together unknowable in a rational way, but emotionally.

So, in trying to find Poseidon, whether by the river, or by contemplating the river from my bike as I ride by it or along its banks, I am forced to find him a bit off putting in a strange way. Not that I lack respect, but that I am often at odds with myself in relation to my own liberal versus conservative streaks.

For most of us, there is a balance in such things. Very few people really are 100% conservative or 100% liberal in a political and social sense, and in many ways, I am quite a mix of both, but taking the liberal stance where the rights of people as individuals are concerned.

But when I reach out to Poseidon, I feel that he demands that I examine my more conservative aspects and do so not with my usual liberal attitude, but in a very serious manner. It is as if Poseidon himself is telling me, check yourself young man, and don't be so sure of your every opinion.

Friday, September 12, 2008


So, now that I have explored, on a more intellectual level, some of the aspects that I consider important to me in Poseidon. I must try to move on to the creation of a more emotional, more core level connection with the God. Knowing who or what Poseidon is pales in the end to the feeling he inspires deep within. If a God is there in the river, how do I find a connection to him or her or it, so that when I sit by that river, I can feel its presence?

I will be taking some time this weekend to making the attempt. To sit by the river, some soft music in my ears, and try to feel him there. Feel his power flow through the waters, and feel his essence.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Problems with themes...

Currently, I am trying to work out some bugs in my theme. Photos that were once in the blog have disappeared, and they may not load properly if you can manage to see them at all, in Firefox. I have managed to get the pages working in the archive, and am considering just using flickr or photobucket to host the images and just use links.

They won't really change the blog, but I do make reference to missing images from time to time. I hope you can bear with me.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Poseidon and eternal fluidity

It is difficult for us, or maybe I should say many of you, to understand what I mean by fluid eternity. We human beings, when we try to conceptualize eternity, tend to conceptualize something that is immovable, unchanging, forever the same, yet eternity does not, by its nature really imply a perpetual state, it implies timelessness, and more importantly, boundlessness with regard to time. In other words, the eternal is defined most especially by the fact that it has no beginning and no end.

Poseidon, the eternal God, has no beginning and has no end. He was never actually born, and he will never actually die. Many infer a monotheistic influence in me. The influence of Catholic or Protestant theology with which I was raised, yet we know for a fact that many philosophers, including that most famous of Hellenic philosophers, Plato, believed in the concept of eternal Gods.

Aristotle tended to categorize “Gods” as being of two or more types. The Celestial, and eternal, type who lived in a blessed state that was rather separate from our own world. These were transcendent beings. The other type that I remember is the immanent type which is capable, or willing, to manifest in the world. These Gods manifest as wind, in bodies, as spirit forms, and in myriad other forms.

As I have often thought of this, both of these “types” of Gods are actually present in each of the Gods, just as we see the celestial and chthonic in all the Gods. Each deity partakes of the four essential qualities of the divine being. They are immanent, transcendent, fluid, and moving. That they are eternal is a given, just as the fact that we are mortal is a given.

So, Poseidon.

Poseidon as a God is best known among us as the Sea God. Because of this he is known as an elder God, tempestuous, strong, and with a temper that shakes the earth itself. We attribute to him the qualities we see in the sea itself, but as the Lord of fluidity, he is something far more than this. He is the God whose power causes all things to change shape.

This may seem strange, but fluidity implies a constant state of flux. If the Gods are beings of constant motion, then they owe that ability to do this in our universe to Poseidon, who lends the universe that capacity to allow this kind of constant fluctuation. In fact, this ability of the universe to constantly change and remold itself is necessary. Without it, we would not be able to exist the way we do, if we were not capable of fluid movement, fluid change, and growth. That we grow from children to adults, changing, metamorphosing, is due to that very power of fluidity.

So, when the Gods manifest in our cosmos in a more condensed state, meaning in forms we can perceive clearly, they do so by taking advantage of that power of fluidity that Poseidon grants. In this case, Poseidon allows their eternal motion to be stilled, their vast forms to grow smaller, and their vast, and perhaps hurtful, voices to be heard by beings such as us. What effect, for example, might the presence of a God in all its power, all its glory, have on the earth as a planet?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Eternity and Eternals, continued...

So, now that i have given you a slight glimpse of my conception of an eternal being, which I will define here again in brief as a being whose essential nature is made manifest in a fragmentary form within the context of a religion, I must also try to come to terms with eternity itself and what it is, what it means, etc.

Eternity, at least my understanding of it, is not the same thing as infinity. The Gods are eternal, but they are not infinite. Nothing is. The gods are nigh omnipotent, but that does not mean they can simply snap their metaphorical fingers and make it so like Q in Star Trek or Samantha Stephen on Bewitched.

The universe exists as a set formula. It is balanced and beautiful in its complexity, and as such, the changes a god may make to it reverberate through all of existence. It is why there aren’t many true miracles. To act in such a way, the Gods must not just make a snap call on giving this person this or that person that, they must do so knowing that by doing so they change all of reality.

Eternity is all that is. Timeless!

But, and here I run into something of a rub, because while Eternity is timeless, it is not changeless. In fact, it is rather fluid. The cosmos itself exists within it, and the cosmos is a dynamic thing. Within it, potential and actuality are merged into a chaotic mixture we call reality, and while one may see eternity as being outside the cosmos, it is not, it is in fact part and parcel of the universe just as the atmosphere is part and parcel of the Earth itself.

Because I see Eternity as fluid, I must also admit to seeing Poseidon as a God who can represent, or who is responsible for, the fluid nature of eternity, and perhaps, responsible for the fluid nature of all things, even the Gods themselves.

Next time, I hope to go into that aspect of the god. Not just the fluid aspect, which i have already talked about, but that same fluidity in relation to all the cosmos, from eternity to emotional fluidity to the fluidity of wisdom.