Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Puritanical Attitudes...

I am a dude.

A man.

I like to think about sex, have sex, and then think about it some more. It is the way I am built, as a man, and I don't apologize for it or try to hide it behind fa├žades of puritanical saintliness, and neither should you. And, I say I am a man as part of the introduction there because in our patriarchal culture, these are things generally accepted about men, but if you are a woman, and you think about sex, like sex, and have lots of sex, you shouldn't apologize either. 

Since I am focusing on Artemis during this path on my star, and if you are unaware, this is what I am talking about:

Meditation star

 

I started at the 12 o'clock position, with Hestia, and then followed the path to each as I found myself reaching a point of terminus in my meditations of the God in question. The rotation goes toward the right, so, Hestia to Apollo, Apollo to Hera, etc. At this point, I am at Artemis, and have been for some time. There is no time limit, just at some point I reach a moving on feeling, and do so.

So, because I am at the Artemis point, I have been pondering sex in relation to what Artemis represents to us, in our modern world, with regard to sex. As I have posted, Artemis is a Goddess of instinct, of nature, etc., and as such she is also part of the mating instinct. Not the actual sexual intercourse part, but of the instincts that drive us to propagate the species. But that doesn't change the fact that sex is part of my life, our lives, and on a daily basis we all encounter things that make us think of sex, want sex, seek out sex. 

And if this is the case, if even the chaste Artemis is intrinsically tied to the human sexual drive on some level, then is it fair for us to subscribe to the highly puritanical and sex hating attitudes that our culture, and Christianity, try to push on us, even if it is done hypocritically in a nation where sex sells?

I have to admit that, in spite of my free thinking with regard to sex, I am still trapped in the puritanical attitudes of our culture. And if anything, Artemis is calling on me to set myself free from these, to learn to love all aspects of myself regardless of how society views me. That includes my homosexuality, my slight bisexuality, my love of comic books, my inability to dress worth a damn, etc. And if I like having a threesome from time to time, then so be it, accept that and be open and honest about it.

Now, this may seem odd, but it seems to be on a path to helping me release myself from the shyness that has often trapped me, caged me, and made me feel inferior to others. I often see people having fun and wonder what it must be like to be like them, to be so free, yet in other ways I also look at people and wonder how they can live so trapped by strictures and sexually repressive attitudes. How can they live their whole lives in closets.

But we all have closets, don't we? We all need to crack open those doors and step out to see that there is a lovely forest of wonders awaiting us, and all we need to do to be realized, to be free, is to run through it naked and unafraid. Puritanical ideas are something we have to liberate ourselves from, and it is an uphill battle, because Christianity has broken us down, forced us into some kind of weird slavery that, even when we let go of Christ, even when we realize Christianity is a lie, it is still  something we have to battle in the culture, because the entire culture has been permeated with it. As Hellenistoi, Pagans, Wiccans, Asatruar, whatever you may be, we have to learn to separate ourselves from the notions that enslave us to Christianity, and that includes sex, because we as a people must allow ourselves to be what we are, without them telling us we have to be something else.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Malevolence

On the opposite side lies malevolence, the desire to do wrong or harm to others.

 

The ancients saw many forms of malevolence in the world. They believed in things like magical charms, curses, and spirits that sought vengeance for wrong done to them. The ancients also believed that the Gods could act in ways that would seem malevolent to us. They could punish us, sometimes for great misdeeds, like the killing of a parent, or for small things, like not offering the proper respect to their temples. But the malevolence of the Gods, if we choose to even call it that, is not one based in evil. The Gods did not act out of hatred toward us, though one could argue the myths of the persecution of the wives of Zeus by his divine wife Hera are filled with hatred, they fall into a different category of myth than I am discussing here, because one could argue that the many wives of Zeus, the mortal and divine women he impregnated all over creation, were mythologically linked to Hera herself, aspects of her, but that is a discussion for the future I think.

 

When Artemis changes Actaeon into a stag, she does not kill him, she offers him the ability to survive. When Semele foolishly asks Zeus to see him in his divine form (naked, if you will) he warns her, begs her almost, to ask for something else, anything else, before he finally acquiesces and kills her in the process. When Arachne challenges Athena, she does so knowing there is a price, a price she is willing to pay. Humanity makes bad choices, and the Gods make the price clear. Failure can bring you misery, but failure to try, to seek, to explore the possibilities is part of who and what we are.

 

We humans, however, have a tendency to lay blame. On each other, on the Gods, on nature itself, and seldom do we seem to take responsibility for one particular thing, that we are creatures of free will and we choose to take these risks that sometimes bring us misery and misfortune. The Gods merely give us opportunity, and perhaps shine a light in the right way from time to time, but what the Gods think is the right path and what you may perceive as the right path are different things. The Gods do, after all, have a vast point of view not limited by space and time (meaning not limited to aging and mortality) and so that path that brought you misery yesterday may be the path you needed to take, the lessons you needed to learn in order to become something great tomorrow.