Gah.

Jul. 31st, 2008 10:57 am
kyrene: (Default)
How did I manage to get sucked into the whole "is magick Hellenic" conversations yet again?

Is it because tonight is the dark moon? Because we have an eclipse soon? Because clearly I'm not being entertained enough on other emailing lists? I can has a more amusing Intarwebs, y/y?

Maybe it's the mystique, the sheer art of it all, the je ne sais quoi, the whole question of whether or not magick is de rigeur in Hellenismos or perhaps it's that whole "Omgs! I don't want to be lumped in with the neo-pagans/Wiccans/witches/uncool-kids-who-sit-in-the-front-of-the-bus!!!!!111eleventy-one" crap which I find to be so embarrassingly passé.

I'd make paper airplanes loaded with spitballs and fire them away at these people, but I really don't want to get after-school detention.



So, um, about those um, Greek gods. Um, yeah. They're like wicked cool an' stuff. Yeah.
kyrene: (iPod deities and heroes)
I think it's hard not to think of Apollo when it gets to be the summertime. Especially when the weather is mid-90s, sunny, and HUMID as hell.

I do a lot of informal spiritual rituals to the gods on a regular basis, but don't do an awful lot in the way of formals one and haven't in a while. I developed a severe allergy to them after the drama-filled events with a group I used to belong to, and I haven't been able to enjoy them since. Try as I might to have new ideas, I think I just like simplicity.

It's more than obvious to me however that I owe a few deities a serious offering rite as a thank-you. Two of those deities are not patrons, but I had asked them for a favor a while back and nine months later it was granted--in spades. Although its serious, long term reprocussions have yet to be determined and are still underway, I need to thank them for what I have so far because I'm damned grateful.

I don't like doing blind ritual for the sake of doing blind ritual. But I do enjoy having a sense of rhythm, for offering thanks and accepting blessings, and doing things that are a part of day to day life versus having to remove myself from it. Maybe that's why I don't do a lot in the way of formal ritual except to invoke and thank them when I do spiritual and magickal work--I'd much rather have them be a part of my day to day life versus having to remove myself from it in order to do a ritual for them. In some ways, I see such a removal as being dysfunctional, at least for myself. The gods don't stop being around, nor do they stop being in my life when I am at work, in heavy traffic, at yoga class, et cetera.

Just some rambling thoughts for today.
kyrene: (DW: Bad wolf)
Dear Pixelated Looney-Toon,


No, I will not worship you in your self-created hero cult. I'm too busy worshipping Apollo by drinking bay leaf tea while performing tarot readings in his honor--on a four legged chair, no less. Or sometimes while seated on a floor with NO CHASM BENEATH ME. This makes me ineligible to worship you, and leaves me rather thankful at that. The day I will worship a human being is the day I leave Hellenism for Catholicism, sell my house and all of my possessions, and quit my job to join the circus. I'd much rather stick to my AIM nicks like "Pythia777" so people like you can rant about how you won't let me join your self-created hero cult so I can worship you and make statues in your honor and offerings and shit. Because clearly *I'M* the crazy one for performing tarot readings and worshipping gods instead of people and for not starting hero cults for myself.

Yes, crazy! Batshit! I am a LUUUUUNATIC! %-) O_o :-O

dingledangledonglelipitytoota!


Nothing but pure purple prose and passionately poignant agape for you,
Kyrene "Pythia777" Ariadne

PS The tarot cards have DRAGONS on them. You know, winged serpents.
PPS I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry.
kyrene: (DW: What idiot caffeinated the Doctor?)
I have nothing new to report, except that the majority of my encounters with Greek deities these days in regards to life's influences and all that appear to be mostly Hermes and Hekate these days. I REALLY like Hekate. I need to spend more time communing with her.

I've also been involved in a number of small to medium local HI events, including a very well done wedding performed by one of our members. It's nice to hang out with people and do Greek stuff from time to time. I only wish I could get over my desire to be solitary. I think that dealing with Hellenic drama for 10+ years completely burnt me out on Hellenic orgs, groups, and what-have-you.

My wish list for the community these days? For some of them to gain the ability to laugh at themselves and not take either themselves or their faith too seriously. I think that they would be able to relax more and enjoy their faith better before they burn out as badly as I did. I think certain individuals are long overdue to lose their minds, crash, or convert to xyz religion.

(PS Yes, I have a sense of humor about myself... and thank the gods for it. It prevents me from caving into that mentality which craves greater creativity and imagination... )

I also feel VERY badly for the people who continue to angst over their connection to this god, that pantheon, this aspect of the religion--all the while getting drawn towards it while kicking and screaming. Why do you hate an aspect of yourself so much as to give yourself much undeserved drama?

This is why I abandoned dogma ages ago--it kills my soul. :P And I've seen what it does to others, and it's never positive. Anyhow, I've long felt that while Apollo's motto is "know thyself" and Dionysos is clearly "be thyself" I think Hermes' is "understand thyself".

Meanwhile, I am WAY overdue on my Order of Hekate of HI homework and Spira stuff. The job search and change took a lot out of me, and an entire month has come and gone. I've gotten NO book edits done. I have, however, done quite a bit on getting back into a nice health program for myself, including eating better and doing yoga almost daily--plus have been meditating every night which is wonderful.

Today I run off to VT to a funeral which is being held early tomorrow morning. It's not going to be fun and I think there'll be a lot of drinking afterwards. But I'm Irish and it needs to be done.

Wow.

May. 9th, 2008 11:31 pm
kyrene: (Maenad with thyrsos)
I just read all of my past entries on here. Wow, was I burnt out. I am glad that I got removed from everything in regards to the Hellenic community for a time because I frankly needed it and a little perspective. Of course I had both good and bad incentives along the way to get myself removed, but hey--such is life.

So...the question is...what have I been up to?

Fantastic question. Allow me to bullet point in no particular order:

Cut for length... )

Can I be honest? I'm the happiest I've been in a LONG time. I finally know where I'm going and where I'd like to go--and where I feel that I would best accomplish my True Will, which being that it is aligned with that of my gods' Will is ultimately where I belong.

So I'm okay. I'd like to start having thoughts in here on my spiritual practice, the gods, my mystical life and where that is all going. I don't expect to be hugely open about some things as it's too personal to share, but I'll try to share what I can.
kyrene: (Default)
Every once in a while I get the mad, insane urge to create a modern day Hellenic mystical tradition. I think of how, given my background in studying and/or practicing in various modern day mystery schools and mystical practices, this could be doable. Could lead to things like Hellenic mystery schools down the road, even.

Then I remember the following:

1) Me creating such a trad alone is a recipe for disaster
2) Me creating ANYTHING in the Hellenic community is just asking to rebuild the pedestal and crank it up a few feet
3) Me with my schedule and life probably wouldn't have as much time to this as I would like

#3 would be solved by #1. #2 is inevitable. I can't sneeze without #2 happening.

I have ideas for a mystical tradition for Apollo. It involves a syncretic approach and is flexible in regards to training. It goes something like this: the goal would be union with an ideal, namely that of balance. How does one achieve that balance and where would that balance be reflected? Well, there's mind-body balance, energy balance, balance between yourself and the world around you, et cetera.

Here are the spheres along with suggested ideas for implementing each:

Mind-body: exercise programs, yoga, certain forms of meditation
Energy balance: Tai Chi, Reiki
Balance between yourself and the world around you: meditation, contemplation--specifically what they call "contemplative prayer"

Add in a healthy dose of Pythgorean and Neoplatonic philosophy and I think we have something here.

This is all shit I'm thinking about creating and implementing within the Inner Circle of the Order of Apollo. The more *original* practices such as various rituals, forms of meditation, et cetera we can come up with over the long run, the better. The idea is to learn what works in the spirit of attaining what we want and then as time goes on, be able to tailor it more specifically towards Apollo--and of course, be able to have something concrete to teach others.

Some practices, however, stand perfectly fine on their own. There is utterly no reason to create a "Hellenic" version of Tai Chi. Tai Chi is Tai Chi, period. I can see, however, eventually starting up an energy healing tradition devoted specifically towards consecrating yourself as a healer of Apollo and attuning yourself to that energy.

Things like this are why I am dangerous and need to stick to just writing vampire pr0n.
kyrene: (Default)
I'm alive, really. Finally wrapped up my project from hell at work plus my manuscript for publication (nothing Greek religion related, sorry... but the main char is a devotee of Apollo lol). Then there was that twenty page paper I had to write for some Golden Dawn work I'm doing....

I performed a libation for Apollo this weekend on behalf of the summer solstice which was lovely. Also got to do a nice ritual with other members of the Order of Ares.

I also prayed to Dionysos this weekend regarding some personal issues. This had interesting results. I need to rephrase my request to him tonight before my life gets any more interesting.

And gods know... my life's already interesting enough. :/
kyrene: (Default)
Mindfulness is not a term over which the Buddhists have a monopoly. One of the most disappointing things I have found about much of the Pagan and Hellenic communities is the complete lack of an outlet for people to improve themselves. This is especially frustrating in the Hellenic community where the mindset is often focus on ritual but not on self development. Given how ancient religion emphasized arete or excellence (and not just in sports either) I find this rather strange.

Being a mystic is no guarantee of said self improvement. In many places, ranging from the Hellenic community to the Golden Dawn community, I have found mystics who have in the entire course that I've known them stood at a standstill as far as their personality was concerned. In fact I have found that mystics can often "get in, get high" and never make any efforts towards mindfulness, self improvement, or anything of that nature. They wind up in pursuit of one spiritual experience after another the way people go from book after book, drink after drink in a bar, or relationship after relationship--never really scratching the surface of their own ego or producing any real results except the euphoria that mysticism can produce.

Is it any wonder why non-mystics are often so skeptical towards us?

What does mindfulness mean? It means being self-aware and cognisant of one's aptitude as well as one's flaws. It also means being aware of the world around them and how they relate to that world. In becoming mindful, one can become a better person.

This is usually where people ask, "Well, what is a good person and why would I want to become that?" I can sum up a good person via both modern and ancient standards according to the Delphic Maxims: a good person is someone who is compassionate, has integrity, and is good to others--and hence contributes to their family and/or community in a positive way. I don't think a person can contribute in that positive vein without being a good person.

What is a positive contribution? A positive contribution is someone who is a good role model for others. Writing essays and putting up websites doesn't make one into a good person, but someone who actively assists in charitable causes, helps people in need, and is generally good to others is.

When is someone not a good person? A person who spends their time negatively judging other people, is narcissistic and self-absorbed, and adds more negative contributions than positive. Frequently such people appear to care more about what other people are doing rather than what they are doing; hypocrisy is a trademark of such people.

I sometimes hear, "Well, trying to become a good person detracts from the worship of the gods." Given how a good person can aid their community more effectively and be a force of good in this world, I see this as a rather lame attempt to justify their own behavior. What they REALLY mean is: "I just don't care about being a good person; I only want to get high off of my spiritual practice. Who cares about the real good I can accomplish? It's much easier to throw barley at offerings and libate my drinks and not do any work or effort towards such things. It's too hard anyway."

FYI you don't have to be a mystic in order to improve yourself. And mysticism comes in many forms: contemplation, meditation, philosophy--any sort of personal experience with the divine in whatever form or form you conceive of it to be.

Sometimes I get accused of doing too much navel gazing and second guessing myself. But I'd rather that than not examine myself at all. It is true though that moderation should exist in all things--including moderation. ;)
kyrene: (Default)
I just cleaned my yahoogroups out quite a bit, removing myself from a bunch of groups upon which I was standing on ceremony. One list was for a group that was supposed to start up in my area for the Religio Romana, and the guy went off and got some gov't job and had to disappear. No posts for almost a year from that one and he's the sole mod with his email listed as bouncing. The rest were all lists along same lines, no posts and done with standing on ceremony. I'm overusing that expression but I really am at a loss for what else to call it.

It's a similar thing with the NR priesthood list. Once again, every couple of years, the head suddenly remembers that he has like, a priesthood just sitting around there doing nothing with our hands tied because he clearly isn't around, doesn't care, or both. Countless emails have gone out to him over the years asking him wtf I'm supposed to do as priestess of Apollo, and not a single one were replied to. He claims that I've never replied to his, but ya know...I'm no idiot. I never got them, nor did they somehow wind up in a spam filter either. That one is on its last legs with me. I'm waiting to see what happens over the next few months before I figure out what to do with my membership in NR after the past nine years or so--I suspect that once again he'll forget about us and then I'll give up and leave, as I REALLY have better things to do with my time and my money than continue to support a group that well, isn't doing anything. I've stuck around only because people begged me to do so and frankly at this point I have to ask WHY?

It's the waning moon, an excellent time to purge my life of dead weight. That and I'm PMS-y, IBS-y, and shivering in my pjs at home. What better way to spend my spare time? Aside from WoW, that is. ;)

Oh yeah and my new spiritual path is a particular trad of Southern Italian witchcraft. Yay for belonging to a trad where the esoteric and mystical isn't kept separate or locked away in some dark corner somewhere, and I can still worship my gods--which is really what's important to me. And the answer is no, it has nothing to do with Raven Grimassi. :P :)

And the best part about it all?

I'm HOME. And I don't mean just physically, either.
kyrene: (Default)
It is interesting to see that the people who think that spiritual advancement as being "self-serving" and "shallow" because it "removes the focus from the gods" are among the most self-centered and self-serving people whom I have ever met.

Interesting more still that those whom I know who genuinely seek to advance themselves spiritually are among the best and finest examples of human beings whom I have ever met.

Lots of people can claim to be into "spiritual advancement" but few walk the talk. You know by the walk, not the talk.

And I am proud to call such people my friends.
more, plus my conclusion...yes it's long and I'm sorry... )
kyrene: (Maenad with thyrsos)
"Mysticism, in its pure form, is the science of ultimates, the
science of union with the Absolute, and nothing else, and that the
mystic is the person who attains to this union, not the person who
talks about it. Not to know about, but to Be, is the mark of the real
initiate."
kyrene: (Default)
I see about as much knee-jerking against Neopaganism in the Hellenic
community as I do Christianity, I think from way too many people who
joined Hellenism as a rebellion against those religions. Every time
someone brings up something in Hellenism that is similar to something
used in Neopaganism, people go up in arms and refuse to support
it--even if that was what was done in ancient times. I've seen
supposedly hardcore reconstructionists exhibit this behavior as well.

Here's the 411 on recent history: the Golden Dawn was greatly
influenced by Greek mysticism as well as other mystical traditions,
and their officer names were even the same as in the Eleusinian
Mysteries. This was not by accident. Wicca and other Neopaganism
traditions are and have been greatly influenced by both the Golden
Dawn and the OTO as we know of it today, which was revamped by Crowley
after he left the Golden Dawn. Here's a rundown on the similarities:

1) The elements and their properties. The Greeks are to blame for
this, specifically a guy named Empedocles in 5th century BC.

2) Casting a circle also done during Greek circumambulation. People
like to knee-jerk and poke holes and claim that they're not the same
thing, but in reality they are. Deal.

3) Syncretism in Neopagan faiths stems from ancient Greek thought,
albeit misinterpreted. This really comes from Dion Fortune's line
about "All gods being one god and one goddesses being one goddess."
She wasn't saying that Thor is the same as Lugh is the same as Zeus;
she was saying that everything emanates from a single source which
Neoplatonists refer to as "the One" but doing it in a Qabalistic way.
The Qabalah is really to blame for the popularized polarity between
God and Goddess, as the union of the One is expressed in sexual
alchemical terms between a masculine and a feminine principle.

As far as syncretism in Greek culture was concerned, they didn't have
a term for it. It was more like "Oh, cool! You call Dionysos Osiris
and have Mysteries for him too? Wow! Can we participate? We love
Dionysos!" It didn't mean "converting" to someone else's religion; it
was more of an expansive viewing of the gods.

In short, hard polytheism is a modern philosophy. It doesn't make it
WRONG any more than syncretism or any other view of the divine is
wrong; it just means that it's not in line with ancient tradition.

4) Mystery schools existed in ancient Greece and much of their thought
has been transmuted and has inspired modern day Mystery schools,
including the initiatory religion of Wicca, Golden Dawn, and OTO.
Some of these groups even put on their modern take of the Eleusinian
Mysteries!

I'm sure others can babble further. I've long given up on the idea of
establishing "recon" mystery schools or whatever and have just gone
and joined up with their modern day equivalents, provided of course
that they are non-denominational.

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Kyrene

September 2010

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