Friday, September 23, 2011


In this journey, the journey of discovering who I am on the inside by exploring my relationships to the Gods, the reactions I have, conscious and subconscious, to the Gods and Goddesses I am attempting to connect to are what lead me into further exploration. Sometimes, as now, I find myself reacting in ways I did not expect, or which seem opposed to the particular deity I am focussing on.

Since I am currently focusing on Artemis, a "Virgin Goddess", I have to admit to being surprised that one of my reactions has been to become more sexual. To seek out sexual partners and enjoy what comes so naturally to me as a man. It is not a simple coincidence that I am reacting this way at this time. I am a very sexual person, even at my advanced age and being quite ugly, yet of late, I have not wanted partners. I think in some way, this reaction to Artemis has been a reminder to me that often we human beings are extreme in our notions. That we focus too much on a single thing and then disavow or neglect everything else. 

As a goddess of hunters, of the hunt, and of the very animals who are the prey, Artemis is also a goddess of perceptions, something that just now dawns on me. She is a goddess of the senses, of the sharpness of those senses and the well honed instincts that allow them to find and put down prey. This makes her a goddess of the deep instincts, those that come to us through our very genes, that guide us as we live. One of those instincts is sex, and while the "virgin" status of the goddess and the way that aspect of her informs much of her worship can sometimes lead us to forget that, we must be careful not to apply Judaeo-Christian or Puritanical ideas of sexuality on the Gods. Those puritanical ideas about sex are a false human concept, one which has caused much pain and destruction in human lives.

No, I don't think we should include sex as part of Artemis' worship, but as an instinct in our very make up, I think I have to accept that she plays some part in what sex means to us as living, thinking beings.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Poems section...

In the Prayers and Poems section of my web site ( I have uploaded several new pieces, as I have been looking through my directory and putting more of this stuff up. Might as well have people read it. Critiques are welcome, of course...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Leto, Mother of Artemis

"And Leto was joined in love with Zeus who holds the aigis, and bare Apollon and Artemis delighting in arrows, children lovely above all the sons of Heaven." -- Hesios c.8th Century B.C.E.

Leto, Titan Goddess, daughter of Koios and Phoebe was a figure in myth associated with the celestial realm, with childhood, motherhood, and the protection of children. With her children, Apollo and Artemis, she was often invoked at times of need in child bearing and disease. Apollo, who is God of healing and healers, and Artemis, who is, among other things, goddess of childbirth who can also often be seen as the killer of women during childhood.

Leto, it is said, drew the attentions of Zeus, and with Zeus begat the children who would be worshipped in the new age by the people of Greece. Artemis, it is said, is born first, though the two deities are twins, and helped her mother birth her brother, Apollo. The two, it is said, were also born on different islands, because fearing the ire of Hera, Zeus' Queen, the islands of the Aegean refused her a place of respite, a place where she might birth her children. 

Myths about the divine mother's inability to find a place to birth her child, or children, are common. From Greek and Roman myths such as this one, to Babylonian and Hittite myths about the Great Mother, to the birth of the Christ child, this journey of the goddess, or in many cases a mortal woman bearing a divine child, she is refused and eventually it is some poor spot that grants her a place to give birth and is later rewarded with eternal fame or prosperity or some such.

Whether it is Ortygia, where Artemis is said to have been born (In the Mediterranean) or Delos, the islands are later given great renown and Artemis and Apollo both bless these islands with both their presence and protection.

But there are some things of interest and relevance to me in the story of the birth of Artemis, one of which seems to be that Leto was not a goddess to be taken lightly. Whether because of the ire of Artemis and Apollo, or because of her place as a beloved of Zeus, or her own innate divine power, the figure of Leto is one that must be properly attended to as would be any aspect of a God or Goddess. Among the Titans, Leto is one of the few who continued to receive proper honors and worship well into the Roman Age and even beyond, if one considers Leto as an aspect of the Mother Goddess, but that is a discussion for another time.

As you may have figured out by reading my site and blog, I do not believe that every mythic figure we see in the myths themselves is a unique divine figure, but in the case of Leto, as in the case of Helios, another Titan God (son of the Titan Hyperion), has to be accorded a certain level of respect and even worship because of her link to two of the most powerful forces in the Olympian pantheon, the Bringers and Healers of disease.

Leto, here, represents and embodies a facet of life, both human and animal, and in connection to her, so do Apollo and Artemis, and Artemis especially, has a reputation for harshness that is important to take note of.

Is she a figure to be feared? Yes, but in that respectful fear that one gives to anyone who has power over the very reality we live in.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Artemis, the virgin.

As with Hestia and Athena, so with Artemis. An aspect of this goddess that I know I have issues with is the notion of her virginity. I understand, of course, that this virginity can be metaphorical as well as literal, and that is usually the way I take such things, but there is a notion woven into the notion of virginity that has always bothered me, and that is one imposed more by our Judaeo-Christian culture than by the ancients, to whom virginity was a means to preserve the value of a female child, especially among the citizen classes. 

It is the idea that sex is a pollutant, that virginity is somehow pure while sex is somehow dirty that bugs me. Because I am a man, of course, the concept of virginity has always been different for me than it is for a woman in our culture. In spite of the great strides toward equality and freedom, we still teach women that it is not OK for them to be sexually free and liberated while teaching men that is exactly what they should be. Because I am also a gay man, I have not had to deal with this from the perspective of finding a potential mate either, but I have seen the effect that our culture's sexual hypocrisy has on women. The guilt, the shame, the feeling of being dirty that is imposed upon them from our culture. It shames me to see it.


On the other hand, there is also the pressure placed on men, often by women, to be less free and to be the way they want men to be rather than what men are. I don't agree with that either. I don't think we achieve sexual equality by forcing men to chain their sexuality down, but by making it clear that all matters of sexuality are personal. That we all make choices and follow impulses based on our own mental make ups, not on social expectations, and if a man wants to be monogamous, that is his right, and if a woman wants to be polyamorous, that should be her right as well.

Now, although the haughty notion of virginity as "pure" bugs me, I think the metaphorical implications of Artemis and her virginity are very important to us as people, male or female. The virgin nature of a deity, that she is a being, whole and entire in her own right and not in need of being made whole by a mate, is a powerful message. But, psychologically, it is an almost omnipotent concept, one we should all take hold of and meditate on.

You are whole. You are entire. You are capable and well on your own. When you choose to be with someone, be it a marriage or a one night stand, it should be because you seek mutual pleasure, mutual understanding, mutual comfort and mutual companionship, not because you are lonely and need them to fill some part of you that is missing. The same can be said for anyone seeking to have children. You should have them because you want to love and raise children, not because you want to be a mother or because you have some social pressure to do so.

Understanding that her virginity is an expression of self confidence, self assuredness, self worth, is a way in which we can all learn a valuable lesson, but taking the time to truly learn that lesson, to truly take it to heart and incorporate it into your being, that can be the hard part. But totally worth it.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Theme

I've set up a new Theme on, and would like feedback. Not even sure if anyone is reading it, but if you are, let me know what you think of the new look.