Monday, June 21, 2010

Lampontas and Adonaia

Every Year, at the turn of the season from Spring to Summer, I celebrate Lampontas, a holiday of my making celebrating the Sun God Helios at the height of his arc on his annual journey across our skies. His mighty travel across the day time skies will be shorter from now on, and his visit in the land below longer.

This celebration has, of late, taken on an additional component to me that is of special relevance to me, because in Ohio, the Columbus Gay Pride March and Festival is held every year on the same weekend as the Solstice (Generally, that is, as the Solstice moves along the week as all other dates do) and as a result, it is a time of celebration and festivity that, for me, is very appropriate to a celebration of the warmth of Summer and the joy of life, and, you know, if there is one thing we gays know how to do, it’s throw a party.

But this Summer I was also met with a special reminder, a blessing from the Gods, and that is a reminder of the power of friendship and the love people so willingly share with one another in the name of that friendship.

The Gay Pride Festival, and my personal reminders to myself with regard to Helios, brought me into a focus about certain things which I too often ignore in my life, friendship and family, and how friendship is often the family we want, while the family we were given is distant. That the love we feel for our parents and siblings, a love so deep it knows no measuring, can be opened up to include people who share no blood, except that which we all share, the blood of humanity.


I have been doing some reading on Adonis lately, and today I received a Facebook invitation to join a group dedicated to the celebration of a Festival in his honor. I found myself longing to know more, and I am going to look for more info, not on the myth, which I have read many many times, but on his cult and the deep felt sorrow and the expression of that sorrow that made his cult so popular.

An antecedent to the cult of Jesus, another dying Hero/God figure probably manifesting the same core deity, Adonis’ death was mourned by women, big pots with small gardens in them were grown on roof tops and at the time of his mourning were thrown from the rooftop, a symbol of his dying and the dying of nature (we would likely celebrate such an event in Winter, but in the Middle East and in many parts of Greece, this would likely have been in the horrid heat of Summer, when the growing of things was made so difficult by the lack of rain and the oppressive heat. The women wore clothing that were either dirty or reminiscent of the dead, they shore or yanked out their hair, and beat their breasts in mourning, and the wailing of their mourning could be heard throughout.

I am certain that the cathartic nature of this ritual of mourning could do many of us good, releasing all that inner anger, hurt, pain, and sadness to the dying god, and in so doing becoming better able to deal with the world around us.

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