Monday, May 30, 2011

These are Yours

The clamor of battle

The clang of steel

The smell of smoke

These are your companions

The cries for help

The orders of generals

The loss of friends

These walk with you

The man before you

The woman behind you

The phalanx around you

These are your protection

The lost spirit within

The heartache and pain

The memories you will never forget

These are your trophies

The Lady of Wisdom

The Lord of the Battlefields

The Lady Liberty

These are your Gods, may they never desert you!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading: By Being, It Is by Nestor-Luis Cordero. Haven't read it yet, but got many recommendations.


The Herm

To the West I made a place for you.

A stone pillar, polished and neat.

With the shadows cast by the setting sun.

It marks the border.

It marks the end.

It marks the point where day says farewell.


To the North I made a place for you.

A stone pillar, old and weathered.

With the snows of Winter and the growth of Spring.


It marks the border.

It marks the end.

It marks the point where Spring gives way to Winter.


To the South I made a place for you.

A stone pillar, brightly painted and in ribbons covered.

With the heat of Summer and the sounds of the sea.


It marks the border.

It marks the end.

It marks the point where Summer is King and Winter unknown.


To the East I made a place for you.

A stone pillar, golden and clean.

With the songs of man seeking you.


It marks the border.

It marks the end.

It marks the point where the Sun greets the world and sacred land begins.


At the borders of my mind, I leave a place for you.

A stone pillar, like a phallus shaped.

With vines and ivy slowly claiming it.


It marks the border.

It marks the end.

It marks the line that none may cross.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Having cooled down

Hvaving cooled down some, I have come to realize two mistakes I have made. One, I neglected how general a phrase like "Greece is full of..." comes off in English. So, people have been right to point out that I have been accusing the Greek people themselves of being racists.

This is, of course, not true. I know this for a fact, having known and interacted with many Greek people during my life. What I should have said is that there appears to be a movement in Greece of people who seem to believe that the Greek people are of pure genetic stock and are superior to all other people. There are people here in the US who think the same, and in France, and in Argentina, and in China, etc. So, it was unfair of me to use so general a phrase, even if I did it unintentionally, because I should know to reread the things I write when I am feeling angered by others.

My second mistake, technically the first but I realized it second, was in engaging these kinds of people in an argument in the first place. Like religious zealots, racists and nationalists tend to adhere to their line of thought or belief with no chance of being argued out of it by anyone, especially anyone as limited as myself.

I should have just known better than to try to argue with them.

Now, this doesn't mean that I have changed my mind about anything that I said with regard to these people. They are an insidious cancer that has to be fought. I know that a lot of us "pagans" like to be incredibly accepting. That whole "let everyone believe whatever they want" thing does not sit well with me if the belief in question includes spreading a racist agenda.

I am not talking about supporting laws that restrict speech or anything like that, as I am a strong believer in free speech, free press, free expression, but in establishing groups and online communities that support and spread a more universal system for Hellenism.

So, Universal Hellenismos, the acceptance that the Gods are not meant for any one people, but can be, and seek to be found by all people. To some appearing this way, to some that way. That the Gods do not want us at war with each other over religious dogma, but for truly just reasons. That the Gods seek to help us become wiser beings, not their slaves. That all human beings are equal in their eyes and that it is the things we do and how we treat each other that matters in the end. That among the many things humanity should strive for, hospitality toward one another, love of family, protection of the defenseless, and above all others, the wisdom to act with justice always in mind, should be the most important and the ones that our religion promotes.

These are the ideals we must strive for. Because while live and let live can be a good thing, turning a blind eye to injustice is not.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Opening my eyes...

My eyes are being opened to something I have blinded myself to for a long time. A recent experience on Facebook has forced me to take a good look at what I have been doing religiously, and why I have been going about it wrong.

A simple discussion on a Facebook board which started with the question "Is Macedonia Hellenic or not?" ended up with me being yelled at about the purity of Greek blood and how my being American was why I did not understand things. Accusations that I have Arab blood, which I do, and African blood, which I do, spewed forth as if either of these were something to be ashamed of while outright denials of the clear fact that Greeks themselves have a great deal of Slavic and Turkish blood in their lineage led me to realize that Greece, today, is full of racists and nationalists who are attempting to adhere to the same "religion" I am.

I have to admit that for a second there I was ashamed of this "religion", that I thought I must leave this path in my life in order to distance myself from that kind of ridiculous stance.

I have, I think, forgotten that the Gods are not Greeks. The Gods are The Gods, and how we see them is often times more a reflection of our own issues than theirs. That the Olympian Gods don't care if I am a mutt, and perhaps, just perhaps, the Gods have chosen to touch people in many different parts of the world in an effort to force us to look back at the land we call Greece and, perhaps, force them to stop the insanity.

I am not talking about proselytizing, I am talking about being more assertive. That those of us who pray and worship at the altars of the Gods without the nationalist overtones, without the sad claims to racial purity, without all the bullshit, to be quite honest, should become the voices of reason, and rather than just sit back and be all "Let people do what they will" we should be a little more "No, racism and nationalist agendas are not Hellenismos".

We should not allow ourselves to defer to the Greeks just because they are Greek, that is in itself a form of racism, but speak out against such things in the name of the Gods, because the Gods are not racist nationalists, they are the Gods, and they have touched people throughout the world, in many ways, by many names, and have never sought to destroy a people for being different. Man has done these things.

Sorry if I sound a bit angry, but I am seldom touched by racism anymore, as I have always been fairly capable of speaking my mind on that particular issue, or not caring what others think of me, but this, this hit me harder than I thought it would, and now I have a lot of thinking to do.

My current guide along the star, Hephaestos, seems to be throwing me into something new here, new for me, and perhaps, forging me into something new, something a little more active in this "community" of ours so that we can stand up to people who, in the name of the Gods, will do wrong.

Can I get an amen?  :)

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Conveying a concept is not an easy thing. Look at the number of people you meet every day who can't seem to finish a thought, much less convey the mental structures, the concepts, in their heads.

I admit to being one of those people.

I have a hard time saying what I want to say without straying back and forth. Basically, it works like this, I start to write out a particular thought and as I do so, 50 others happen and I become derailed.

Some people call it a form of ADD, I refer to it as a lack of focus, and focus is something that can be learned.

So, what is this about concepts I want to get to?

The concept is "god"

Right now, though, I have to get to work, so I will have to tackle it later.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Homeric Hymn 20 - To Hephaestos

"Sing, clear-voiced Mousa, of Hephaistos famed for inventions (klytometis). With bright-eyed Athene he taught men glorious crafts throughout the world,--men who before used to dwell in caves in the mountains like wild beasts. But now that they have learned crafts through Hephaistos the famed worker (klytotekhnes), easily they live a peaceful life in their own houses the whole year round. Be gracious, Hephaistos, and grant me success and prosperity!"


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Purification of my soul

I believe in the soul as a manifestation of our psyche, not as an eternal and ephemeral force. I am not a luminous being, as Toss might put it, but a physical being who glows with the light of sapience.
There is nothing magical about it.

But we live a good number of years, we physical beings, and during that time, it would be a shame not to seek to grow our minds beyond the confines of our physical needs to the glorious speculation and wisdom that comes with knowledge.

But more than that, it is important to learn how to gauge our own intent. How to make our will and intention pure. For these things we turn to the Gods.

The Gods are not physical beings like we are. They are physical in the sense that they exist as part of the greater structure of the universe, just as we are part of our small part of the cosmos, but there is to divinity a purity that comes from intent and action and how the two are not about what they need or want, but about what is for the best of all things.

That is the kind of purity I am looming for. To let go of selfishness and embrace the betterment of us all.
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Monday, May 2, 2011


Thank the Gods he is dead!

If there is any truth to the myth of Tartarus, may he be deep in its bowels, being torn apart by titanic beings hungry for flesh for eternity.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Fire has many manifestations in human spirituality. As in the more realist paradigm, so in the spiritual one, and fire is destructive, cleansing, purifying, and even creative. As I have tried to manifest Hephaestos in my life, which I admit has not been easy, I have started sharing certain aspects of my life on Tumblr, aspects not directly related to Hellenismos, and hence why I have not cross posted them here, but it occurs to me that this decision was indeed part of my manifestation of Hephaestos.

Hephaestos not as creator, not as destroyer, but as purifier.

Deciding to share these things, even if no one is actually reading them, has always been part of how I deal with my inner turmoil, my inner pain, my inner self destructive impulses. Letting things go, verbally or as written text helps me deal with them and process them, and this blog, as well as that one, has given me a means to let go of a lot of inner conflict. Inner conflict that pollutes my soul.

Of all the Gods, I never quite thought of Hephaestos as a God of purification. Apollo? Absolutely. Hestia? Of course. But, Hephaestos?

It wasn't until I started to realize how limited my view of the Gods can be that I started to open up to ideas that allowed the various Gods to manifest in my life in unexpected ways. They may even have been manifesting that way all along, and I simply refused to see it. When you start to look at the way particular Gods are worshipped all over their respective worlds, in our case Greece, you start to see how immensely diverse the influence of the Gods can be. It is amazing to see the way Aphrodite seemed to the people of Cyprus, for example, versus the commonly viewed imagery and mythology that was so common among the people of the pan-Hellenic world. And when you look at the Hephaestos of the Athenians versus the Hephaestos who is father of the Kabeiroi, you start to feel foolish in not having allowed yourself to see him before then.

When I speak of Hephaestos as a God of Fire I do not speak of it in a magical way. I am not a follower of magical traditions, but that he is, in fact, a God who manifests through the use of fire. He is not the flames, of course, those are part of the chemical reactions that are fire, but there is to fire something that symbolizes his power to us, and part of that is how he manifests as a purifier of the soul through physical labor and our meditation on its impact on us.

But also, just as fire can allow for new forest to grow, clearing out old brush so that new seedlings can take root, so too can the fires of Hephaestos allow us to clear out our fears, doubts, and self destruction if we are willing to accept how he manifests in our psyches. That unlike Hestia, who manifests as protection and warmth, or Apollo, who manifests as the light that illuminates the darkness, Hephaestos manifests as the fire in which we must forge ourselves anew. He requires us to work and sweat to achieve the purification he has to offer, and I wonder if I have what it takes to do that kind of work.

He pushes me, but I find myself pushing back, and now I have to figure out why I would do that...