Monday, November 25, 2013

The Oracular Experience

I am not a person who is into grandiosity of any sort.  However, from a fairly young age (early teen-age and possibly earlier) I was given the gift of second sight in my dreams.  This was quite frightening at the time because when I would tell my Mother of those dreams she would give me a shocked look and was able to interpret them.  My Grandmother, who had emigrated to America from imperial Russia before World War I and the Revolution, was also able to do this and she and my Mother could also see the Blessed Dead.
As the years have gone on these abilities have increased in such ways that I no longer have to sleep in order to "know" things.  In addition, the Gods have again "gifted" me with a medical condition, bi-lateral frontal lobe epilepsy, which has been said to help open the portals between the dimensions we inhabit and the dimensions of the Gods, Olympus.
So, what can I report at this time?  I can say that I am experiencing closer relationships with my Gods.  However, something very, very strange is also occurring:  other divinities are stopping by for a conversation as well.  They are not asking me to abandon the Hellenic pantheon -- they just want a little time.  I never know when this is going to happen.  It is the same with the Hellenic Gods.
Now, I am planning to develop my own ritual for these meetings.  I do not know if they will turn into something oracular; however, I do have a co-religionist who lives about 45 minutes away whom I wish to ask for help. 
At this present time I am NOT taking any questions.  Depending on how the Gods feel, I may never take questions until they say I am ready.  This is really, really scary for me and I need to be sure that each step is taken with reverence.      

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Modern Atheists: A Case of Putting the Cart before the Horse

I can personally attest to the ancient view of monotheism/atheism.  As I was attempting to be a "good Lutheran girl" for my beloved Grandmother, I was rapidly becoming an atheist as I was going through two years of Confirmation classes.  Before this, I basically ignored the dogmas and other stuff.  I just knew all the Gods existed.  Now, this intensive Christianity 101 was really in my face (remember, this was the early 1960s).  I got into debates with my Sunday School teachers -- and won (ie. why there should be no missionaries -- there is no such thing as Original Sin).  Every religion is equal -- none is better than any other.  Wow, was I unique for my age.  I really, really tried to believe for the sake of my Grandmother; however, I just could not.  Talk about guilt!  Anyway, without the other Gods it suddenly became a very empty universe because the Christian God was just not interested in me.  I was supposed to feel this sudden Grace which was His gift to me because of the vicarious atonement of Jesus.  {Face screwed up here -- okay -- don't feel it -- maybe I didn't need to be atoned?}  It was not until over ten years later that I finally stepped off the Christian merry-go-round for the last time.  ALL of the presumptions from Christianity fell away as I again could welcome all the Gods -- including the Christian and Judean Gods -- back again.
Looking at modern atheists and their leaders (yes, they do have leaders), one has to feel at least a bit sorry at their stupidity.  This is especially so since there are quite a number of PhDs among them (biologists, historians, philosophers, physicists, etc.).  I do not make fun of anyone's religion, except those people who insist on putting themselves and others in harm's way either mentally or physically.  Why are they so rabid (and that is a correct adjective for them) against religion.  But, is it religion?  No, it is not.  Nine times out of ten it is Christianity that they are railing against.  They ignore all our pantheons (except for a few college students who have mistakenly erected headstones for them).  Occasionally, They will include Islam.  However, I have hardly heard a word against the cults in Hinduism, Shinto, the varieties of Buddhism. etc.  Thus they do prove their own stupidity.  Like the mythicists, who thought that the people who wrote some of the texts that later became the New Testament knew that they were using myth (the cart before the horse) to manufacture a new God, they gaze at their own navel lint and belittle.  I wish to be respected in my religious community and my greater secular community.  To get respect I must give respect.  My cart must be securely hitched behind my horse.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

New Books in My Library

Well, as some of my readers already know, I do consider myself to be a scholar.  I've always been a well-read person since I was a child.  In college, as a History/English/Humanities major, I was on reading and writing overload, especially with the Honors Programme.  So, when I realized that I was actually a polytheist, I tried to find things to read.  There wasn't anything in the 1960s and 1970s in regular book stores.  It is still difficult unless you are close to a college or university book store. Back then there was no Amazon. What little there was could be cataloged under the heading of DRECK.  It took a while to find those first books, which were almost all published by university presses.
Anyway, I am having to replace some titles (too tattered etc.) and I am getting into the early philosophers (the Atomists and pre-Socratics).  There is also a lot of newer scholarship out there, so I need to keep up if I decide to become a priestess and neokoroi.

Connelly, Joan Breton.  Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece

Patton, Kimberley Christina.  Religion of the Gods: Ritual, Paradox, and Reflexivity

MacIntyre, Alasdair.  Dependent Rational Animals: Why Human Beings Need the Virtues (The Paul Lectures)

Deacy, Susan.  Athena.

Waterfield, Robin. The First Philosophers: The Pre-Socratics and Sophists

Epicurus.  The Art of Happiness.

Porphyry.  Porphyry's Against the Christians.

Celsus.  On the True Doctrine: A Discourse Against the Christians

Mikalson, Jon D. Ancient Greek Religion

Pagden, Anthony. The Enlightenment: And Why It Still Matters

Mills, Stephanie.  Epicurean Simplicity.

Guthrie, William.  Greeks and Their Gods (Ariadne Series)

Johnston, Sarah Iles. Ancient Greek Divination.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Consolations of Philosophy: A New Series of Posts

Now, I am a realist and not a pie-in-the-sky romantic.  This is a result of my own personal experience as well as personality.  The Classical world generally was a world of realism.  The great philosophical schools of Epicureanism, Stoicism, Platonism and Aristotelianism each tried to deal with the great question of human happiness:  what was it?  of what did it consist? 
However, even human happiness was/is a fleeting thing, at best.  Yes, boys and girls, you have to put on your adult underwear and learn to carry on with gaping wounds as well as the smaller scratches which will never heal.  And they WILL not. Most all POP Psychology self-help is a crock as is vicarious atonement.  Philosophy is not navel-gazing.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Theogony -- The Gods Created Themselves

One of the major reasons why I love this religion is Hesiod.  The beginning cosmology myth is so satisfying, I just breath in and know in my heart the truth of it.  The Gods created themselves as the Universe started to create itself.  There was no pre-existent divine being creating out of nothing.  Nothing existed -- then, there was something.  It is beautiful because no negative dogmas can be created out of it.  There is no good or evil.  It just is.  Thales also opined that the number of Gods must be more than all the grains of sand.  Of course, that must be true, as they were being born along with the Universe.  However, as billions of years expanded onward, more creatures continued to be created/evolved in this Universe.  Eventually, one of these creatures developed the ability to think and to recognize the Gods.  It took a long time for these first people to develop pantheons.  The Gods had been alone since the beginning of time and thought that they were alone.  Many horrible things were done at first (human sacrifice).  Eventually, it became known through the Oracles that the Gods were displeased with this type of sacrifice.  Sacrifice then became the offering of the purest of the animal stock and that was sufficient.
As time went on, problems within the human community arose and we saw the rise of the philosophers.  We wanted to know how to a good and wise life.  Great sages such as Solon and the 7 Sages of Delphi left their marks on the temple walls of our cultural ancestors.  We owe to them the beginning of Western civilization.  They are as much a part of us now in the 21st century.  Let us honour them as heroes along with our Gods, for they will help us put to rights a civilization that is but a dust-bin. 

The Liturgy of Sacrifice

There have been recent postings on Hellenic Pagan and on Hellenion_Chat which have led me down various trails of thought on ritual and its liturgy.
The major part of an Hellenic festival ritual liturgy is the time of sacrifice.  This is the prime focus.  Most modern people will claim to know nothing about this.  Of course, this is not true.  It is a case of bad religious education, as most Hellenistos and modern "pagans" were former Christians.  This is especially so for Roman Catholics, the Orthodox and members of "High" Protestant churches: Episcopalian, Anglican, and Lutheran.  It was especially clear in the Roman Church before Vatican II (yes, I do remember that far back) that the Mass was far more of a mystical mystery to enter than it has since become.  Anyway, the replication of Jesus' sacrifice is central to those services along with all the other theological understandings which come with it.
Our understanding of sacrifice is, of course, quite different.  It is the community offering to develop and further the reciprocal relationship with a group of the Gods from the pantheon.  These are the Gods of whom the stories are told of what they did for the community in days long ago.
Now, I will never be a main-stream "Politically Correct" individual."  The only reason I use fat and bone scraps cut from my meat is because I do not know how to butcher a chicken.  My Grandmother knew how, though, because she came from Russia.  Even my Grandfather had to ask neighbours to butcher his hogs and an occasional cow.  It is not something most of us know how to do anymore.  I know several Asatru groups who do have access to a co-religionist who is a butcher who will ritually slay a lamb or goat.  That may be a good way to go.  Ritual purity is usually equal across the lines; however, if you are acting as priest or priestess I would say that you should be there for the event, otherwise you are a hypocrite.  Of course, the Pythagoreans did not give meat sacrifice; but, IMHO, they were weird.  For those of us in the Northeast, I plan on sacrificing lobsters to Poseidon.  So far so good this hurricane season -- the steam will please him, YUM!.  Finally,  ask the Gods involved what they would like.  No one has even broached that most obvious of answers.   

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Why Borrow Holidays/Festivals?

Maybe I am just getting old and crochety; however, I can hardly see straight when modern people take over and occasionally subvert another religion's holidays/festivals.  The thing that brings this to mind is a recent discussion happening over at the Google+ Pagan community about what "we" can "get out of Easter."
Give me a f*****ing break here, for Olympos' sake!  This is just another wonderful reason why I refuse to be targeted as a pagan -- oooh, the stupid shows so much it hurts my head.  If Christians need the nefarious dogma of vicarious atonement to understand that life goes on, let them.  I knew this a long time ago from both philosophical and scientific resources -- I don't need to be atoned for because there is no such thing as Original Sin (TM), created out of whole cloth by Augustine of Hippo.  You can't pick-and-choose what you want from a menu:  their menu is fixed -- it's all or nothing.
This is probably why I am moving further away from Unitarian-Universalism, too.  I like the people at our local congregation; however, I don't like it that if religion comes up it usually has either a Judeo-Christian slant, neo-pagan, or is Buddhist in orientation (I guess they love Joseph Campbell, well I can't influence their taste, it's just not mine).  It ignores the entire Western Classical tradition as if it's not "Politically Correct"  enough for a liberal organization.  Of course, African drums are not off the menu, either, and I do prefer a Haydn string quartet.  As a further matter of interest, I do not believe in the concept of race at all -- there are only ethnicities.  The genetic difference I have between myself and any living person on this planet is the same difference I have with any member of my birth family.  What I like is what I like, irrespective of the who, what, where, or when.  BAH!  FLUFF BUNNIES ALL!
As a further note, these people have completely ignored Eastern Orthodox Easter, which occurs in May this year.  How about those apples!  This is why syncretism does not work -- and will never really work.  The idiots only think about Roman Easter.  Will my headache ever go away!  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Winter Gods

I have been thinking about this topic throughout this so-so winter that we have been experiencing here in SE Connecticut.  When I was a child -- way back in the 1950s -- I remember our pond freezing in November and having snow on Thanksgiving.  This was normal.  In fact, winter rarely "ended" until the end of March; and, there was the occasional April snow that would bring at least 8 more inches.  To say the least, I am a Snow Girl still to this day (I generally dislike summer).  Connecticut is not, even in this time of global warming, a Mediterranean climate.  The ground demands a snow cover in order to properly conserve a good water table for the following year.  Rain when it lands on frozen ground just runs off into the creeks that eventually end up in the ocean.  We call it Mother Nature's Fertilizer.  Of course, the stupid people don't know how to add 2+2 when they make comments about hating snow-- this is one of the reasons industry has managed to hoodwink so many about the real danger of global warming.  We have to assist the gods of winter because they cannot do it all:  Poseidon, the Northern Winds, the Cloud(Snow) Nymphs, and Zeus.