Sunday, December 29, 2013

O Hades

Neither with a dark heart
Nor with evil intent
Shall I ever call upon you
Lord of the dark realm below

O Aidoneus

Neither with fear
Nor with dread
Shall I ever approach you
Lord of the land without sun

O Hegesilaus

Neither in despair
Nor in loneliness
Shall I ever rush toward you
Lord of the senseless dead

O Plouton

Monday, December 23, 2013

I'll be back...

I know I only have a few readers, and I do this blog mostly for myself, but for those reading it, I will be back to more regular posting in 2014, I have just gotten myself into a rut, and I will soon be out of it.

Thank you all for your patience...

Monday, October 7, 2013

O Blessed Ladies

Blessed Lady Artemis
You who stands at the border
Dividing wilderness and civilization.

We pray to you to guide us as we build a world for ourselves.

Blessed Lady Athena
Who separates man from beast
Granting love of knowledge and wisdom.

We pray you guide as as we struggle for peace.

Blessed Lady Hestia
Who warms and guards the home of man
Showing us strength in the arms of family.

We pray you guide us as we seek new family.

O Blessed Ladies
Virgins, radiant and pure
Granting strength where once there was none.

We pray you guide us through our daily lives.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Κύριος Απόλλωνα

Κύριος Απόλλωνα
Inspire in me great songs!
Κύριος Απόλλωνα
Inspire in me great art!
Κύριος Απόλλωνα
Inspire in me great words! 

And may they honor you!

Κύριος Απόλλωνα
Heal me as I sing!
Κύριος Απόλλωνα
Heal me with your arts!
Κύριος Απόλλωνα
Heal me with your word!

And may it come to pass!

Κύριος Απόλλωνα
Guide me with your rhythms.
Κύριος Απόλλωνα
Guide me with fine hues!
Κύριος Απόλλωνα
Guide me with your lyric!

And may I receive them with open heart!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Zeus, lord of heaven.

Lord Zeus of the high realm is our God above all other Gods. He is King of Gods and Men, Father of Gods and Men, and Lord Ruler of the Universe.

At least as far as our Mythos says. 

Personally, I am of the opinion that all Gods are equal, eternal, and all have the same capacity to affect the cosmos. And as I already said, I believe Zeus regulates how the Gods may affect the universe, but all this is speculation based on my own ideas of how the universe is formed and maintains itself. 

What we have to go on is myths, philosophies, dramas, and legends. Stories of poetic beauty that tell of a great Kingdom of Heaven, a common enough conceit amongst the peoples of the world, and a great Sky Father as its Emperor. That Emperor is Zeus, and in other cultures known by many different names and in many different guises and sometimes given very different attributes by the people who worship him. 

But what does it mean to worship the sky father? 

Among the many peoples of the Earth, worship is often very immediate. There are needs to be met, and the God of the Rain, the Thunder, the Sky is called upon to meet them. For these people, the farming of the land, the filling of cisterns, and the quelling of the winds, the monsoons, and the great mountain storms are of utmost importance. But I am a city man. I do not farm the land. I am well shielded from the rain, the wind, and the cold of morning. What does it mean for me to seek him out? How do I properly relate to him when my immediate needs are so far from the traditional needs he is called upon to meet?

For me, the secret lies in understanding that we are all beholden to his gifts. That whether we pray for our own needs, or for those of far away farmers, we are praying for the good of all, including ourselves.  That in the spirit of generosity, of hospitality, and of community, we must pray and worship the Lord of Heaven, who in wisdom rules over the world both divine and mortal.

Apollo Mantra

Απόλλωνα ο οποίος προβλέπει.
Απόλλωνα ο οποίος θεραπεύει.
Απόλλων τα χρυσά βέλη.
Θεραπεύστε την αγωνία μου, ο πόνος μου, η ψυχή μου!
Ευλόγησε μου με την παρουσία σας!

Apollo who foresees.
Apollo who heals.
Apollo of the golden arrows.
Heal my anguish, my pain, my soul!
Bless me with your presence!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Don't give up, Give in!

Don't give up
 Give in!

To the light of Olympian Zeus
 Who thunders and rains!

Don't give up
 Give in!

To the wisdom of the Virgin Athena
 Who plots and schemes for the betterment of her people!

Don't give up
 Give in!

To the blessings of Delian Apollo
 Who sings and dances to heal the ailing heart!

Don't give up
 Give in!

To the gift of Terrible Demeter
 Who blesses us with the bounty of the Earth!

Don't give up
 Give in!

To the whimsy of Ecstatic Dionysus
 Who opens our eyes and hearts to truths unknown!

Don't give up
 Give in!

To the pleasure of Golden Aphrodite
 Who teaches love and passion are to be shared happily!

Don't give up
 Give in!

To the strength of Mighty Hephaestos
 Who with hammer and flame brings beauty and utility!

Don't give up
 Give in!

To the power of Argive Hera
 Who binds us one to the other and protects the ramparts!

Don't give up
 Give in!

To the terror of Wild Artemis
 Who protects the young of man and beast and hunts the wild mountains!

Don't give up
 Give in!

To the cries of Warring Ares
 Who with blood and tears defends the city walls!

Don't give up
 Give in!

To the will of Awesome Poseidon
 Who shakes the Earth to its foundations with storm and wave!

Don't give up
 Give in!

To the restless spirit of Flying Hermes
 Who guides man, dead and alive, to the places he needs to go!

Don't give up
 Give in!

To the protection of the Spinster Hestia
 Protector of man, woman, and child with warmth and gentle kindness!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Zeus, overthrower

As the myth goes, Zeus, the Sky Father, was born to Rhea, fathered by Kronos, who had before this fathered other children with the Titan Goddess, but his thirst for power and his fear of losing it made him do something horrific, and he swallowed his children whole just after their births.

First came Hestia, Hera, and Demeter, then Hades and Poseidon, all swallowed by their father, a great evil, for a father should care for his children, not consume them. But Rhea would not stand to lose yet another child and she travelled down to the Earth, to a place where she could be hidden, and there gave birth to her youngest child and named him Zeus.

To aid her, she brought forth a nymph named Amalthea, who some say is a goat, or that she had a goat, and with its milk he was fed. She brought forth too spirits, fierce and joyful, who did a dance about the place, clanging sword upon shield to drown out the cries of the infant God. To her husband, however, she returned, as was her place in these Titanic times, and presented to him a stone wrapped in swaddling cloths, hoping that in his haste he would not notice. Notice he did not, and in his eagerness to protect his own power, he swallowed the stone down.

The child Zeus would grow quickly, gaining strength, hearing of his mother's sacrifice to save him, plotting against his father, the King of All Things. When he was well grown, a beauteous youth, he presented himself to the Titanic Court, and there was made the cup bearer of the king.

Into his drink the young Zeus put a potion, and as the Titans, the Gods of the time, feasted, it did its work. Kronos rose from his seat, a pain in his stomach, and in due course vomited forth the children he had in so dastardly a fashion, consumed.

Forth came Poseidon and Hades, Hera and Demeter, and finally Hestia, born anew into the world, once the eldest, now the youngest, and with the, Zeus absconded to the Earth below, where in due course they would plot their revenge.

Zeus would lead them into war against their parents, and with them might the mighty Hekatoncheires, children of Ge, and defeat the rule of Kronos and the Titans, who are then imprisoned in the deepest parts of the underworld, a realm known as Tartarus.

With the end of this war dawns the age of the Olympian Gods, and Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon draw lots to divide the universe, with the Seas going to Poseidon, the Underworld to Hades, and the skies falling to Zeus, who takes the throne of heaven held by his father.


In this myth, Zeus becomes a catalyst. The world has been settled into an order, and by his actions, that order is thrown into chaos and then reordered. He is a God of changes, and an overthrower of kings.

Zeus is Lord of Hosts, King of Kings, and as such, he is also the God that will overthrow regimes and even destroy civilizations that show themselves to be unworthy, or that break the sacred laws of hospitality and good governance.

On a personal level, what does that mean?

To me, it has come to mean that as sovereign over my own life, I am the king, and therefore I must seek to live in accordance to rules of hospitality and good rule, and I do struggle in this, because I do tend to be fairly awkward socially, and a bit anti-social all together, and these are antithetical to a good life, and as King of my own life, I owe myself a good one.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My time with Zeus

So, as I have tried to meditate on him, on the one God in our pantheon that is, perhaps, best known of all to those who do not worship him, I have come to understand a few things. All of this personal gnosis, of course, as is this whole blog...

One, that the king of Gods is like a conduit. That we perceive him as king, law giver, and ruler because, in a way, he actually does these things. He is the conduit between the divine sphere, eternal and infinite, with the mortal world, which is limited, finite, and temporary.

That his effect on the world is to cause turmoil. I suspect all the Gods, if they manifest too strong a presence in our mortal universe cause turmoil and chaos. That is to say, they are the pebble thrown into the still pond, or perhaps boulder. But that Zeus' effect is of such that it throws our atmosphere into turmoil, and hence why we associate him (and his manifestations in other cultures and religions) with the storms, the lightning, and the rumbling thunder.

That Zeus, along with the other Gods, is indirectly responsible for life. That the Gods affect the universe in such a way that their very presence is partly what we refer to as natural forces and that those natural forces, interacting as they will under the confining and limiting influences of the universe in which they exist, are responsible for spawning us.

I have not touched upon this, I don't think, but it is part of how I have come to understand the Gods, and through this idea that Zeus is a conduit, it made more sense to me. We tend to think of Gods as beings capable of doing anything, and while that may be true, it is also relative. The gods can do anything, but in relation to the tools at their disposal. The Gods can't turn me into Superman because our universe does not allow for that possibility. In a universe that allows for such a possibility, though, they certainly could, and maybe in one of those universes, they have. Our universe, and every universe, then, is guarded, if you will, by the power of Zeus, by the laws governing its nature, and the Gods are limited, perhaps due to the intervention of Zeus, by the laws the law giver puts in place. 

I have also learned to be careful. Personal gnosis is an important part of our evolving religious system, both as Hellenistai and as Pagans, but it is important to not become so arrogant in my personal revelations that Im refuse to listen to others, and perhaps in this, Zeus has been most helpful, for rule is not about being a tyrant, but about hearing what is necessary and acting wisely. 

Zeus is often portrayed as something of a tyrant, but I am convinced that is simply not the case.

In the coming week I want to try to explore that, to think on what it means that Zeus, as conduit and King, is not a tyrant, but rather a kindly emperor who allows us our dominion over ourselves, and the freedom to act according to our own conscience and will. But kindly emperor should not be confused with soft touch. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Upon My Altar

place upon my altar a gift

an offering from your heart

and I will see it

place upon my altar a prayer

words true and heartfelt

and I will hear them

but place not upon my altar your rage

not your bitterness offer me

for these I will punish

place upon my altar your hopes

desires benefiting the many

these I may grant you

place upon my altar your dreams

though strange they may be

these I will consider

but place not upon my altar your south

laziness of heart, body, and soul

with these you will but fail

place upon my altar your questions

queries heat and small

the answers are already within you, so seek them out

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Admirer of Stars

I am the Sun, ever living, from your perspective
Ever bright, to your sensitive eyes
I destroy, but I also infuse life with energy

I am the Moon, ever changing, as far as you can tell
Always beauteous, to your longing sight
I illuminate the darkness, but with borrowed light

I am the Earth, broad and strong, sure foundation of life
Ever fruitful, in all your long memory
I bring forth the grass, the trees, the fruit you eat

I am man, ever chaotic, warrior by spirit
Ever seeking, explorer at heart
I am the child of Sun and Moon and Earth, admirer of Stars

Friday, June 21, 2013

Καλή Ηλιοστάσιο!

Happy day!

The Sun so high
Gone up far North

Happy day!

The season changed
Hot and humid

Happy day!

The year half done
Helios riding high in his golden chariot

Blessed be he, the son of Hyperion, who illuminates the world with his divine light!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Re. Suicide. I have a request.

I have a request to make of you. It won't take much effort on your part, it will just require you to care a little bit. 

If you have a Web Page, a Blog, a YouTube account, a Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, EyeEm, Twitter, a Mailing List, Community, or Forum, I would like to ask you to add something to your pages. Maybe just a monthly reminder to your followers or a tweet once in a while reminding people that suicide is not the answer and that there are people out there working to help in whatever way they can. 

Include, if you will, these links: 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Veterans Crisis Line
1-800-273-8255 Press 1
Includes Hotline numbers by state

 and get the word out. Hell, all you have to do is copy and paste this. It's easy. 

OK, I'll make it even easier, just include this on a page, up front and center 

Suicide is never the answer

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Zeus, the Wanderer

Zeus, like so many Gods, goes on adventures in our myths. His adventures often include some poor virgin princess from somewhere that will be hounded by Hera at some point, but this is not always the case. Zeus travels, often making himself into a soldier, a king, a general, or some beast or other. 

On one such journey, he and Hermes wander the world in search of good people. He seeks, but does not find, upstanding people who uphold the holy laws of the Gods, laws which are different from our own today, but which often resonate. Hospitality was a sacred law among the ancient people of the Mediterranean, and Zeus was, as were many Gods of that region who could, possibly, be identified with him, a God of Hosts.

Unlike in our modern world, it was considered a breach of divine law to, essentially, be a bad host. The law broken in Sodom was not homosexuality, but a breach of hospitality, for YHWH was the Hebrew God of Hosts, and to deny someone shelter was seen as the sign of an immoral person. The story of the birth of Jesus, for example, shows us a place, Bethlehem, in which people had become isolated and selfish, denying Mary a place though she was in great need. You are not shown this simply as a way to show you her suffering, but to show you that the world she lived in had become "evil" by turning its back on this divine law. 

In the story of the Birth of Apollo, Leto is denied a place to give birth. She has, at this point already given birth to Artemis, who is with her and now must help her give birth to Apollo on Delos, the only island that will have her. Again, the Goddess and her two divine children would grant this island great honor and make it sacred, for they upheld the divine law.

Zeus, the God of Hosts holds us to this, that in one way or another, we must, in essence, help each other. Shelters and homes are not just sacred to Hestia, but to Zeus as well, for his is the will, the power, the divine law that requires us to offer aid to those in need, shelter to those traveling through our cities. 

One might argue, of course, that this is not something we can do today, and I suppose in much of the civilized world this is true. Our cities are so vast, the numbers of people so large, that it becomes impossible. But we can help by making sure that shelter and inviting hospitality is available. That we do to assure that the homeless are housed, the sick cared for, and those in need, for whatever reason, have somewhere to turn. 

But Zeus as Traveller is also a watcher of men. He is here with us, everywhere we are, watching as we do unto each other that which we would never want done to us. He is the conduit to Olympus, he who regulates the divine powers, and perhaps, he who assures that divine gifts are not handed out to the worst among us. 

But let me remove myself from all of that and get to the term Traveller itself. For most of us who follow a path under the Shadow of mighty Olympus, the God of Travelers is clearly Hermes, and this does not change that. Hermes is he who travels between the worlds, the messenger, the guide, but it is a mistake to assume that the universe is cut up into neat little departments and then assigned to particular gods and only to them. Were that the case, the Gods would be such simple things. Zeus, the king, the lord of hosts, husband, father, thunderstorms. Boom,  done!

But, alas, no such luck for us. 

No, Gods receive titles and attributes from man, because we see them in different ways, we receive their blessings in different ways, and we seek them out in different ways. Zeus, the King of the Gods, is one who was worshipped all over the Greek world, and beyond by many names and in many forms, and as he made his way, he touched upon the religions, the cults, the myths of many people, each one imprinting upon his legend a slightly different form, for when he came, he left behind something new in his wake, as he travelled, he spread divine law and justice, among these that greatest of divine laws, hospitality. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013


By strength of will, I fight
My sword arm is weak
My body is broken
But Athena is there at the heart of me
She will not let me fall.

By strength of force, I fight
My fingers yet hold the sword
My body still feels pain
But Ares is there at the heart of me
He will not let me admit defeat.

By strength of duty, I fight
My hands ache
My body shuts down at the end
But Zeus is there at the heart of me
He reassures me of my victory

By strength of character, I fought
My memory will live on
My body will be given honor
But Hermes is there to guide me
The the shadowy lands below

By nature's eternal dictate, I pass beyond
My arm is strong again
My body feels no pain
But Hades is there to welcome me
To the land of the ever shining Sun

Saturday, April 27, 2013

In 13 minutes...

I have 13 minutes to write this, to try to sum up what I feel about Zeus at this point. I am not done with him, but I want to sum up what I feel as I write, as I am right now, so that I can move forward and explore some aspects of the God that are of particular importance to me.

Zeus is, for lack of a better expression, God. His very name means God. Not the God that is all things, that is not where my religious beliefs lie, but rather, he is the God that the Abrahamics refer to, the one who is being invoked when I say O My God, and the one whose presence is felt in all of the strange and sometimes maniacal rantings of the Abrahamic Religions. 

Zeus is not that God, not in the sense that he condones or expects the zealotry of the Christians and Moslems, but his influence is felt by them and they mistakenly see him as being the one and only.

Zeus is vast, which is saying something for a God, as all Gods are vast beyond our ability to comprehend, but Zeus is vast and permeating. Like the sky which we use to symbolize him, he is everywhere. We walk through him, breathe him in, feel on our faces as the wind blows. He is there between and within us . So ever present is he that we are never, ever, out of his influence. 

Zeus is sovereign, and as I have already alluded to, I believe it is because he is like a medium through which all other Gods act. He is like a buffer between us and them, between the blinding and dangerous fires of divinity and the delicate senses of mortality. He is like a king, because he doesn't just rule and mandate, but mediates between many powers. Like a king who must control the power, ambitions, and needs of his court, he is the hand that rises and stops an action that could destroy, or allows another that can create. 

As a deity, Zeus is not only ever present, but eternal, as are all the Gods, but he is also one of the Gods who I believe has, from time to time, incarnated in the world. Was it as a human being, an eagle, a bull? I cannot tell you those with certainty, but I believe this incarnation has given him the power he holds, because it has made him the medium of contact between disparate powers. 

We adore and honor him for his protection, and in doing so acknowledge and help maintain his place in the hierarchy of the divine.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lord of, well, tons of stuff

If there is one God among the Hellenic pantheon that can be said to be like the Hindu “God", or the all encompassing “God" of the Jews and Moslems, it is Zeus.

If there is a title or epithet available, odds are Zeus has been referred to by it at one time or another. Underworld? Yup. Heaven? Yup. Wisdom? Yup. Healer? Yup. Odds are he has the title.

But we should remember too that if you try hard enough, you can ascribe many seemingly odd titles and epithets to almost any of the Olympian gods, so to the ancient Hellenes it was not at all odd that a deity would have so many titles, some of which might contradict each other.

It is important to remember that the titles of the gods are signed to the gods as a result of perceived action, and Zeus, being perhaps the most widely worshipped of the Greek gods, would, over a period of two thousand years, have accumulated a huge variety of them.

So, s I sit here and think about Zeus, and how he fits into our religion, the answer is he fits in everywhere.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Rising Sun

The rising sun gives us peace of heart.
A reminder that life continues.
A reassurance that the world turns.
That all is as it should be in the cosmos.

The rising sun touches our souls.
A reminder that life is a gift.
A reassurance that light conquers dark.
That even the longest night comes to an end.

The rising sun touches our skin.
A reminder that divinity lives.
A reassurance that we are never truly alone.
That even at our loneliest, someone watches over us.

Sunday, April 7, 2013



It is an epithet that means thundering, and it is not just that the sky father thunders during the storm, but that he is a warrior, a destroyer, and a defender of his divine rights. The thunderbolt, you see, is also called the weapon of Zeus, a weapon with which he slew dragons, Titans, and giants. A weapon with which he was said to punish those who stood against him.

But, when you are a God, what does it actually mean to stand against you?

We human beings tend to think of Gods as people. we often ascribe to them very human features, motivations, and even appearances, yet to know a God is to come to the realization that they are not human beings, not even slightly, and so one must also come to the realization that what we may perceive as their motivations, their will, may actually just be our own projections. Our own expectations reflecting back on us.

But myth is often also a reflection, not just of our own hopes and dreams, but of something else, the experiences of man with the divine. When man creates myths, he does not do so simply out of his imagination, but out of having experienced something that he cannot readily explain, or as a result of experiencing what he feels is a direct answer to a prayer or a hope. So, when we refer to the warrior Zeus, the one who launches his weapon at his enemies, we are reminded that Zeus has, in the past, responded to the pleadings of men. Whether that response was literal or perceived is matter of faith, and we must each decide whether to accept these myths as being proper interpretation of divine action or simple legend.

But one thing is clear, the myths, in spite of their contradictory natures, imply that the Gods do, from time to time, act in our best interest. Oh, they don't necessarily take sides in our wars, or football teams, or any of the other myriad things we humans seem to think the Gods do, but in times of great peril, they do grant strength and fortitude to those who have within them the potential for greatness, whether they are individual or entire cultures, so that in the end, they add to the sum of us all. And certainly that is something to be ever grateful for.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


What is worship?

It would seem an easy enough question to answer. But the truth is that each culture has a slightly different idea of what constitutes worship. Is worship about ritual, feeling, submission? A combination of two or more, and what manner of combination?

Religious rituals among the Greeks was heavily orthopraxic, that is, it centered around rituals that were cultural and specific. Many forms of which were unique to particular areas of Greece, but others which were pan-Hellenic and part of the Greek cultural norms. But ritualistic worship without any sense of feeling, of piety, of love for the Gods would be meaningless, and studies into the religion of Greece that ignore this aspect of Hellenic Religion are useless.

But I am not, of course, an ancient Greek. I am a modern man, an American man, and so I must confront not what worship meant then, though that certainly colors my ideas some, but what it means to me today. So, I will proceed with a simple explanation in three easy steps.

1: To worship a God is different from the more loose use of the word worship in relation to other human beings. In the common sense, worship of heroes and celebrities is simply a kind of admiration. To worship a God, however, is to accept that God as a God and then accept that he or she has an influence and effect on your life. Because of this, you give the God reverential treatment. 

2: While ritual is a part of worship, it is not in itself worship unless it is also accompanied by the above acceptance and reverence. If it is, it is empty, which is not so much worship as capitulation to an expectation.

3: Worship is not submission. We are not slaves bowing down to our masters, we are proud human beings who accept our place in the cosmos and show reverence and do honor to those divine beings who we perceive in our lives.

Now, having said that, submission can play a part in worship, as sometimes we seek to understand the will of the Gods and to do that will. To submit, willingly, to that will. The Gods do not demand this, we offer it.

Ritual, however, is a different matter. all worship seems to include some kind of ritual. even if it is simply praying in a formulaic way, or lighting a simple candle, those acts, when repeated as part of our daily worship are ritual. My rituals are simple, as I don't personally buy into the idea that we must copy what the Greeks did in order to worship the Greek Gods, but there is no mistaking that the ritual aspect of my worship plays a part in my life. It has an effect, whether it is the pacifying nature of meditation or the way lighting my hearth candle make me feel, it affects how I feel about the God or Gods in question when I pray and meditate.

But when I say I worship Zeus, or any of my other Gods, I mean this, that I feel their presence in my life and through my daily rituals prayers and meditations, I acknowledge them and love them.

In the end, that is what worship is about, love. 


Amor et desiderium,
Gaudium et libido,
Voluptas et acceptatione.
Hi sunt ferebat.

Illa deam amoris, cui carmina scribunt.
Illa, dea pulchritudinis, ad quem agant feminae honor.
Venus, aeternaliter formosae.
Aeternaliter debacchantem per amorem.


Love and desire,
Joy and lust,
Pleasure and acceptance.
These are her gifts.

She, the goddess of love, of whom men write songs.
She, goddess of beauty, to whom women do honor.
Venus, eternally beauteous. 
Eternally enraptured by love.

(Corrections welcome)

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Changing Seasons

To many, the changing of the seasons, the thunderstorm, the earthquake, the hurricane are manifestations of divine power. Many, to this day, believe that a storm happens because a deity has willed it into being. Now, I know that is false. Not that it is impossible, but that in general it is false. The Gods do not punish us with plagues, bad weather, earthquakes, or other relatively catastrophic events. After all, a hurricane will kill a lot more innocent bystanders than it will some few who transgress upon the good will of the Gods. 

But as Winter turns to Spring here in the Northern hemisphere, I am reminded of certain Gods, some are brought to mind because my calendar has festivals in their honor listed there, but others are brought to mind by the way the world itself changes. The way the air feels more alive, the earth feels softer, and the trees are almost glowing from within with all the potential for growth they are about to embark upon. Gods like the Kore, Dionysos, and Aphrodite come to mind with alarming ease, because among their many aspects, attributes, and acknowledged powers are the imbuing of nature with growth and beauty. 

But Zeus too comes to mind, because his is a power through which all these things are brought to bear. 

Oh, yes, I know the logical reasons for the changing seasons, the evolutionary adaptations that have given plants and animals the ability to time their life cycles this way, but these things are symbols, reminders, and clues to the nature of beings far more expansive in their existence than anything we can imagine. And so we take our cues from nature, we Pagans, and we allow nature to remind us of the many ways in which the Gods have made themselves felt in our world, past and present, because by being so reminded, we retain some semblance of our true natures, our connections to the world that birthed us, and we give thanks. 

So, blessed be you all with the many gifts of the Gods, and may you enjoy this Tempus Vernum, την Άνοιξη, and may you feel the blessings of Zeus upon you, your life, and your garden, as the Spring rains bring life. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Father Zeus

As I have been doing some thinking about Zeus, including during my sometimes harrowing commutes to and from work in wind, rain, and snow, I have been asking myself a question or two.

The first question has to do with all the wind rain and snow, and what part in it Zeus actually plays. Now, I am not a superstitious person, so I don't actually think of Zeus as sitting on a cloud and stirring up the weather, rather I think of Zeus as a vastly powerful force within which the weather is but a small part. It is as if Zeus, the force that is Zeus in our universe, is the medium by which these phenomena can occur.

That being the result of my thoughts on the matter, I then asked myself something else, what is the meaning of the myths that make Zeus the father of such divine beings as Dionysos and Herakles?

Yes, I have pondered his father aspect before, and I am not pondering the nature of his fatherhood, but rather why he is father to Dionysos and Herakles, two beings, one regarded always as a God and the other as probably the greatest, most remembered hero of Western antiquity.

Before I continue, I have to point out an important aspect of my belief system here. I believe the Gods are eternal, not just immortal, and as a result I do not believe any of them actually has a father or mother in the mortal sense, but what if Zeus has the same effect on divine interaction with the mortal world as he has with the weather? What if the power of Zeus serves as a kind of medium by which the other Gods' interactions with this universe, or if he is a medium by which their interaction with the universe is modulated, controlled, or softened.

What if Dionysos is a clue to that? What if the influence of a power like Dionysos is of such immensity that it drives mankind insane, literally, and that going through Zeus, through the medium of his power, allows us to experience that power without completely losing ourselves. Without going insane.

Of Herakles, however, I have distinctly different ideas, because I believe that Herakles is, in fact, Zeus himself. That if indeed there was once a man named Herakles (or if that was a title given to a man) that it was an incarnation, an avatar if you will, of holy Zeus himself. The how or why a God might incarnate is not something I am truly qualified to give answer to, except to myself of course, but I am convinced more and more as I look and read and learn things not only about our Gods, but about how other people in the world see the Gods as well, that the Gods have, from time to time, been incarnate in the world, leaving an indelible mark in history.

That when man reaches a point of crisis, of true need, Gods have interfered in the affairs of man, not with miraculous events, but by coming among us as mortal beings, perhaps a small part of them incarnating in the world, living out a life, and then rejoining their greater self at life's end and taking extraordinary steps, doing great deeds, and making righteous choices that we remember into posterity and help guide us.

Are the Gods then living among us right now? I don't know, nor do I know if they truly incarnate or if, perhaps, they pick a person or people who they then guide to do great things, but I am made to believe that my conclusion here, that Zeus is a medium by which they do it. That in some way, his being King of the Gods, Father of Gods and Men, Ruler of all things, is tied not to any actual rulership of anything as if it were a kingdom, but rather a reflection of how his power manifests in the universe as almost a gateway by which all Gods must go in order to affect the universe.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Come Come, Dawn

Come come, Dawn
Lady of the rosy skies of morning
Usher in the morning
Shoo away our fears
For in the darkness of night 
In the absence of the Sun
Man has many things to fear.

Come come, o Eos, who holds the keys of heaven.
Come come, o Aurora, who the Romans did call
Come come Ushas, your name far in the East
Grant us above all else, self realization
And the willingness to see the truth before us.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I am Human

I am God
-ever present
I am Goddess
-ever living
I am Man
-ever worshipful

Man has his place
Between the heights of the heavens
and the depths of the pits
sharing equally in light as in darkness

I am Mind
-ever thoughtful
I am Emotion
-ever chaotic
I am Woman
-ever balanced

Woman has her place
Between the heights of love
and the depths of compassion
sharing equally in war and peace

I am Soul
-ever growing
I am Body
-ever changing
I am Human
-ever doubtful

Human has his place
Between the heights of passion
and the depths of despair
Sharing equally in grace and disgrace

Monday, January 21, 2013

At Sunrise

There is a moment, every morning, when the sun is about to rise
The earth takes a breath
The night bids farewell
And the gates of heaven are wide open

It is a moment afforded every man
To look upon the world
And search within himself
And find the light hidden within him

There is a moment, every morning, when the sun rises to blinding glory
Each man is made visible
His light once again hidden
And the public face is all we see

It is a moment to wonder
To ponder your being
And decide to not be who they want
But the man you were meant to be.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Since i am on this kick...

…I'd like to touch on an aspect of the Gods, Zeus and Aphrodite in particular, that is often spoken of but is seldom explored because I think it creates an uncomfortable feeling among Pagans who have had to deal with the universalist aspects of divinity as taught by the Abrahamic religions.

The Chariot of Zeus Project Gutenberg eText 14994

The aspect I am talking about is referred to as "Heavenly" or "Higher" among those who have explored Aphrodite and her aspect of Ourania (her title derived from the same word that gives the protogonos Ouranos his name). This is an aspect of a higher order of being, of potential and possible transcendence rather than immanence in nature and the affairs of mankind. 

Zeus, as king of Gods and men, is also seen, at least by philosophers and such, and one can assume (Though if I were a scholar I would never do that without corroborating facts) that the average Greek probably didn't see the Gods as simple super-humans, but as beings of transcendental power and awareness. That the Gods were worshipped throughout "Greece" and that the Greeks believed that the Gods of foreign people were their Gods in different forms indicates that the Greeks did believe their Gods had transcendental and omnipresent properties.

But, my worship is not about what they did, but about how what they may have done informs my world view and my relationship with the Gods, and I have come to believe, for quite some time now, that the Gods are truly universal and that the idea of aspected divinity, that being divinity that can and does appear differently to different people, cultures, and religious systems is the correct form in which to accept the Gods.

Aphrodite has many aspects, of course, but the two that seem to bookend them all are Porne and Ourania. Now, there is no dogma in Greek religion, but these two aspects of the Goddess that seem to be in opposition to each other to our modern way of thinking, are also fairly common ways to see the Gods. The Gods are often said to have Olympian and Chthonic aspects, two aspects which seem to be in opposition to each other, but which to me always speak to a universality in the power of the Gods.

Zeus Pateras, Zeus Olympios, etc., speak to Zeus as a heavenly deity. As a father god, as a god of the highest places (Olympic referring to the highest place or state of being) he is also a God who is everywhere and can always hear your prayers, so, is he not then a universal being? Omnipresent?

It is aspects such as these, omnianything really, that sometimes make Hellenistoi nuts, because while some philosophers seem to agree that the Gods were universal this way, what we know about Hellenic ritual and practice seem to indicate that the Greeks did not believe this, but rather that Gods could be localized. Thus, Aphrodite Ourania and Aphrodite Porne, both aspects of this goddess that were everywhere in nature all at once, are troublesome. 

Zeus statue

I think where the problem lies is in accepting that the Gods are universal, but their aspects don't have to be. You could, for example, be a gay man and accept that Aphrodite is present in your love making (or your crazy fucking, whichever one you enjoy, or both) yet not accept that she is in the sexual exploits of a Dominatrix. The Dominatrix might disagree, but from your personal perspective, this is true. Therefore different parts of Greece saw the different deities in different ways, in the ways that those deities were said to have interacted with or blessed those particular localities. Therefore a Persian man would see the Goddess in a way that was appropriate for his culture and in a way that he believes the Goddess had interacted with his people. So, if the God(dess) of love is said to have punished the people of his land, he might see her as threatening or punishing, yet if he believes that she has blessed his life and that of his people with much love, joy, and happiness, he would see her very differently. 

It is easy, I think, for people to read myth, philosophy, and poetry of ancient times and forget the human component to religious perception.

Zeus the King of Olympus, sitting on his throne, is a distinctly different image or icon to meditate upon than Zeus Chthonios, or Zeus of the Underworld. It is often easy to confuse an aspect like this with that of say Hades, who is lord of the underworld and therefore very much Chthonic in nature, yet it is important to remember that the ancient people did not get confused about this. Zeus who is prayed to by the people for the gifts of the earth, perhaps in combination with a goddess like Gaea or Demeter, is Chthonic because he is being asked to grant gifts that come from the earth itself. Wealth, good harvests, etc., are all things directly related to the earth and therefore chthonic in nature, and so if Zeus is given credit for granting such gifts to a people, he is interacting with them as Chthonios. 

But the aspect of Chthonios is also linked to the house snake, that spirit of protection that is often depicted as a snake in iconography, and is therefore linked to the earth, and as Lord of Hosts (I'm sure you've heard that before, as the God of the Christians inherited this title from the Pagan Era Sky Father God, who the Gods called Zeus) he is also a God of the home and the protection it provides, a domain often granted to Hestia, Lady of the Hearth. 

So, perception makes a God aspected, as the perception of Zeus as "earthy" makes him Chthonios, but that is excluding the will of the deity, and so I have to ask myself, are the aspects of divinity merely human perception and interpretation of the Gods, or do the Gods consciously (if such a term even applies to such beings) decide to be seen this way?

I can't answer that, I will not pretend to know the will of the Gods, but I do believe that there is a will at work when a deity who is sought out is believed to have intervened is doing so because he wishes to, and that these aspects are therefore part of their nature, a nature which is vast and hard to put into categories, but which can be gleaned through a study of their past actions and the myths that grow around them.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

On the nature of myths and science, via the myths of Zeus.

In this argument, and I admit that my arguments are often meandering things, so I will try to stay on topic here and make an actual point.


It is noted, for this is not some sacred revelation I have just had and am imparting on humanity, that religious myth, of most religions, seems to reflect many aspects of cosmology and other philosophical sciences (physics, for example). That is to say that when reading creation myths, for example, they often speak of occurrences in times so ancient that no man could have ever witnessed it, and yet often, the myths themselves speak, in metaphorical terms, of things that science seems to indicate actually happened. No, not the same way they happened in the myths, remember, metaphor, but did happen none the less. 

Because I am currently trying to focus on Zeus, let us use him as an example. 

According to myth, in the beginning there was chaos, and while the word chaos has survived today, and currently means disorder or a disordering, in the myths themselves they seem to indicate a gap (like the Ginnungagap of the Norse Myths) which in a way is an indicator of nothingness.  From the nothingness come certain "gods" who are named things like night, darkness, aether, light, earth, and attraction (Nyx, Erebus, Aether, Hemera, Ge, and Eros) and there is something to be said for this, because as we look back into the beginnings of the universe we see the nothingness, the darkness, the sudden light, the formation of matter and gravity, and so here there seems to be an instinctive, or perhaps revealed, knowledge if the beginning of things. 

But then the earth gives rise the the sky, again, factual in a geological history sense. Together, these two, under the influence of eros, being the gravity that binds them one to the other, give rise to the ocean, the mountains, etc. It is during this divine age that what we know as the Earth is made into something similar to what we know today, a world of water, raining skies, varied landscapes, etc. Eventually the darkened skies clear, and the Titans are released from their imprisonment, and so they see the Sun for the first time, for Kronos is a much more tumultuous being than Ouranos, not the starry sky, but perhaps the cloud heavy sky of the primordial earth. Here, the same forces become more refined, they are Titans rather than Protogonoi, but the Titans are wild, gigantic creatures. Brutal forces of nature rather than the gentler forces we know today. 

Eventually, this Titanic Age gives way to the Olympian Age, and it is here that we meet Zeus. Zeus, the new Sky Lord, Zeus, the storm, the lightning, the thunder god. With him, the children of the Titans, in many ways, nearly indistinguishable from the Titans except that these beings seem to be more subtle, smaller, more down to Earth. It is as if the divine power that began with the Protogonoi has spread itself out into the cosmos, becoming more diffuse, more subtle in its power. One might even say that as the universe itself expanded, so did these beings. But here on Earth, the aspects of these beings, these Gods, that have shaped and given form to our world have also been experienced by the very life that has come into being here. 

In myth, it is not 100% clear who or how life is created, is it there when Zeus ascends to the throne of heaven, is it created by the Gods, that is, by the forces they unleash on the world, or is it brought into being even later, by the death and resurrection of yet another of Zeus' children, Dionysos? Whatever the case may be, we do know this, that earth, sky, and sea were all fundamental in the formation of life, and thus its creation. That the very air, the fluid of the ocean, the elements of the earth, and the spark to fuse them to chemical life from lightning were all part of how it happened, and Ge, Poseidon, and Zeus are all part of how it happened.

That Zeus, the Sky Father, is the great King of Heaven is not at all surprising then, as man dwells upon the Earth, cultivates it. Man may sail upon the sea, fishes from it. But man lives in sky, walking in it, taking it in and letting it out at every moment, and so he is there,  the Father we live within, part of him in a very real way. Could the being we know as Zeus, then, be female? Sure, the Egyptian story has Earth as male and Sky as female, it is essentially irrelevant, these are beings of eternity, beings who lived long before there was such a thing as gender, for even gender is essentially an accident of chance. 

Yet as we ponder Zeus, his coming into power, the great war that shaped the very world, we must also ponder the nature of his myths, and those of all the Gods, with a much keener eye, to understand that within them there is truth, sometimes subtle, sometimes blunt about where we came from and how, and the only real way to understand that is to view them through a mind that can correlate the myths with science and observation, so that we can understand a fundamental reality about the relationship between man and god, that we must put into it as much as we take out of it. Not just read myth and take them at their word, but seek to make sense of them. 

Zeus is not literally the sky, but it is his power that makes the sky what it is, and as you breathe it in, remember him and the stories that can guide you to wisdom.