Friday, August 27, 2010

On my merry way

Tomorrow morning I am taking off to visit my friend Steve in Maryland. I have never actually been to Maryland, that I am aware of, except maybe through it on an AmTrak train. And I am very much looking forward to it. Baltimore, Annapolis, and then a trip south to Isle de Smith in the Chesapeake Bay where he lives.


This, of course, brings my mind back to Hermes, who I am currently trying my best to meditate on, but, as one might expect, he is a slippery one. Always in motion, kinda like Athena, but unlike her always in a kind of motion that doesn't always make sense.


As someone who did a fair amount of traveling for pleasure when I was younger, and crazier, I have to wonder if maybe I might be coming back around to that part of me that was much more adventurous, much more willing to explore. Is this what Hermes has been trying to teach me all along? Is he trying to push me to step out of myself now and into myself then in more than just a thoughtful or philosophical way?


Of course, the real question is, is this something I really need to do right now because I have become far too ensconced in my ways? I think the answer to that is yes. I am at a point in my life now where I am starting to notice myself  act old, and I don't like it. So, maybe what I do indeed need is to reconnect with the me that took off to Europe all alone. Of course, I had more money then, and less of a burden, but if I can't do something as grand as walking the Ramblas to clear my head, maybe I just need to look a little closer to home.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rage and Injustice?


In my attempts to understand the influences of Hermes in my life as I make my way through his time in my life, I am having a tough time. Hermes is hard to pin down, always in motion, always changing, and, it seems, always pushing me in ways that I don't like. Ways that make me crazy and force me to recall the times in my own life when I was rather unstable, crazy, and unable to really handle even the smallest amounts of stress.


See, I am not usually superstitious. I don't really believe the Gods throw things at me, over cook my pot roast, make my bicycle tires flat, or anything like that. I just don't believe myself so important that the Gods are busy playing tricks on me. I do, however, have to admit that when it comes to Hermes, I do wonder if it isn't him behind some of it.


Last weekend, last Sunday, to be exact, I had a day that will seem rather a bit unbelievable to you. I woke to no internet and a leaking coffee maker. As I write this, my internet is down again, but the coffee maker seems to have healed itself. My iPod had somehow managed to corrupt its database, something easy enough to fix, but time consuming. And when I decided to take a bike ride to ease my building tensions, I discovered the front tire was flat.


Well, OK, I decided to play a game, I am not much of a gamer, but I do like Sim City, a game I have played on and off for years, and so I put the CD in the DVD on my Windows machine. Well, it spins up and then I hear a very loud bang and the DVD drive stops. I try to open it, fail. I then open the computer up and remove the DVD drive. The CD had disintegrated in the drive, and spinning at such speeds, it had literally destroyed a great many parts of the drive. The drive was dead, and I had replaced that drive only about three weeks before.


All this, and it was yet morning. I am speaking of these things rather calmly here, but I assure you, my inner self was in a rage. I was torn to pieces wondering just WTF was going on. And, to be honest, it occurs to me that this is exactly what Hermes wanted. He wanted me to fall to pieces. He wanted me enraged. He wants me to learn something from this, and perhaps it is to help me learn to better deal with these things, to avoid the whole tantrum experience that comes with rage, but I can't be sure of that.


Why? Because it occurs to me that I am also a bit stuck in my ways. A bit complacent to the world around me. Maybe Hermes is trying to enrage me to remind me of the way I used to be so that I can learn to use these chaotic emotions to make a difference in the world. Maybe I need to take a more active role in the pushing of the charities I support and the things I find important. Maybe Hermes is pushing me to be more angry toward injustice.


Of course, trying to divine the will of a god is not exactly a science, and I do not buy into the divinatory arts (is divinatory even a word?) and I have spoken at length in previous postings about my reactions to things like tarot, auguries, psychics, etc. I simply do not believe in them because, quite honestly, they seem like hokum.


But one does have to sometimes wonder, even when one is so incredulous, if perhaps those things do not simply give one a focus so as to be able to search one's own soul in search for the meanings of things. If so, I can certainly see nothing wrong with that. So do I flip a coin and abide by the answer? The god is simply reminding me of what I was so I can be aware that it still lies inside me, or the god is forcing me to experience all this in order to push me to be more aggressive and proactive with the full backing of my emotional states behind me?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

So Far...

Blah blah blah. I turn the TV on on a Sunday morning and I am greeted, as always, by advertisements for great new films on the On Demand service of my cable system. Truth? I barely even notice what the movies are, but I can almost guarantee that very few of them are any good. By now I can already smell the incense burning in the iron urn that holds dirt. It’s a sweet scent. Sometimes Nag Champa, sometime Ganesha Incense, sometimes other stuff not so readily recognizable as a brand name. But it always smells sweet.


It burns, as always, as an offering to the Virgins, and on an altar that is a non-functional fireplace. The decorations are simple, I am not a wealthy man, but they are reminders of the powers I am hoping to evoke in my life. Powers of wisdom, strength, security, and that essence of wildness that we often call our animal nature. Above all, however, I want to evoke in myself a sense of purity. Purity of intent and purity of action.


This is not a purity based in the puritanical ideals of Christianity or Islam, but one based in the idea that any action that does not harm another, and which is taken with a pure heart and desire in mind, is pure. That a man can engage in a vast sexual orgy, hunt, drink, or even commit an act of violence in defense of another, and if his motivations are pure, his intent to be of service as much as serving his own needs, he is acting with a pure heart. It is this purity, it is this sense of “virginity” that I seek out when I call these powers into my life.


When we think of such powers, of course, we think of Virgin Goddesses, and in Hellenismos this means Hestia, Athena, and Artemis, the Olympian Virgins. And it is these three goddesses that I invoke as I say my morning prayer each day, and particularly today, when I sat in front of that altar, it’s statues, flowers, small gong, and candles all reminding me of what it is I seek, that I was also reminded that I was ignoring a very important part of who I am in these moments.


What am I? I am a man, and in manhood I have to also find what it means to be a pure man. If I were a Christian or a Moslem, these things would be proscribed for me. I would have things like chastity and honesty and sexual abstinence rammed down my throat by preachers of all types, but I am not a Christian. I am a Hellenistos, and in so being I have to explore what it means to be a vital, sexually active, single gay man in the context of this religion, but more importantly how I should live my life with purity of purpose, intent, and action as my guides.


I am currently in my Hermes phase in my meditations, and as I work my way through what Hermes means to me, I am reminded of an aspect of Hermes that is very prevalent in art, but not often discussed among us Hellenistoi, that of a youth. Youths are young men full of energy, vital spirit, and let’s face it, lots of cum. Young men tend to make big mistakes, and hopefully learn from them, and so this Hermes, who is making himself felt in my life is one that I now have to get in touch with, but also has made me aware of something. I am still very much a child inside, a youth.


This may well mean that I never grew up. That the traumas and viciousness of my youth caused me to delay this “growing up” until I could better deal with it, but at 43, I feel like I am way too old for this to be the case now. Why am I to be forced to face this sense of youthful ferocity now, when I should be enjoying my experience in life.


I can actually answer that, strangely, yet the fact that I can answer it does not seem to matter. Common thought about what psychology is would lead us to think that realizing the problem is the way to cure it, but if we really look at it, realizing it can also be a problem in and of itself, because the problems, once articulated, can become self fulfilling prophecies.


And so it is that I find myself seeking out purity in the Olympian Virgins, yet finding that I may be looking at it the wrong way, because the virginity of the Olympian Virgins is very much tied to their power as feminine divinities, while the purity I seek is one based in masculine divinity. Hermes, to me, speaks most loudly to this, and he does so most loudly in this youthful aspect. (Apollo does too, but I can try and get back to that later)


Men, in general, do not value “virginity” in themselves in the sexual sense. Men want to fuck, it is in our natures, and we want to fuck a lot, but as I already said, the “virginity” I am seeking is not that kind. It is way too late, and I enjoy sex too much, and am much too good at it to give it up now. Aphrodite and Eros have been good friends to me, and I am not about to turn my back on them. But the idea of this “virginity” being more linked to a purity of heart than sexual virginity is an important one, because men do value this very much. Living an honest life. Living with some measure of honor. Living with the idea that dealing with others with pure intent, honesty, and a knowledge that they are worthy of your respect is part and parcel of being a true man, and something most men want to be thought of as, but many fail to live up to.


Do I fail?


Mostly, I like to think that I am an honorable man. I keep my promises, and thinking I might not, I do not make them. I try to always be honest, though I know honesty sometimes hurts, and I am sure that there are times when I lie or keep the truth to myself because of circumstances I feel require it, but I do try to be honest in my life. So much so that in my circles, in chat rooms, even on this site, I often share too much. TMI is not my friend.


So, getting back to the whole purity thing, I need to find a way to define this purity for myself in ways that are not vague. It’s one thing to say I want to be pure of heart, but another to really grasp it as a concept and define what it is it means to be pure of heart.


My definition will always come down to honesty, but not just being honest, but being honest with yourself, with your feelings, and being able to accept what it is you feel and incorporate it into your life, and here is where I am running into trouble. While I am an honest person, I am sometimes unwilling to speak up for myself. Sure, it is easier here, online, in a blog or on an email list, but in person I often simply let things happen and pass me by whereas I should be more willing to express my feelings on things so as to assure I am not caught up in things I am not sure I want to be involved in.


Thus I ask Hermes to guide me, and he does so in the strangest ways, by giving me weird days where absolutely everything stops working, or breaks, or explodes (not kidding) and by doing so I am forced to deal with my own anger, rage, and the impurity of my own thought processes as I turn inward, hurting myself from the inside out and then being forced to calm myself down and ask myself some very important questions. So I have to meditate further on this and hope that as I explore my inner child I also learn from him enough to give myself a break and stop taking so much of what happens to me at random in this universe as a direct attack, or a curse.