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Two More for My Spirits

A small note

For those of you
whose voices shattered in the making,
who failed to enchant
the world’s stage,
who struggled away
in church choirs …
or worse:

I remember you.

It is a small thing, but I remember you.

You served that Muse
that exquisitely demanding daimon.
Though it drank your marrow
warm and new and young
you served it still –
bloody mortar
securing its awesome edifice
for another generation.

It is worthy work,
a worthy sacrifice,
and I remember you,
always.

 

The God of Sacred Monsters

A face used to masks
I see You twice over:
lounging and languid,
slender, sculpted,
all smooth alabaster
and smoldering hunger,
ash and lust.

I can never look for long,
though desperately I want to,
want You.
I am too aware
of those perfect lips
and that sly smile
remote, exquisite
perhaps a little cruel—
pain is necessary after all
for such perfection—
and all it promises.

I see You, Enorches,
a wicked knot of movement
dancing a harlequinade
whispering in dulcet tones
“Everything I am
take to yourself
and my mouth,
full of honeycomb,
will pour nectar for you”*

Divine and noble
You have feasted upon Your own heart.

No one sees the strings,
unforgiving as ivy,
when You take them.
Like a paper thin stiletto between the ribs,
You slide in,
pouring Your sweet voice
through that flesh.
like honey
like nectar
stained with blood.

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(line adapted from “La Calisto” by N. Cavalli. Image by Δ from the cover of “Toys of Dionysos” by H. Jeremiah Lewis)

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Be sure to check out my other sites:

Wyrd Curiosities at Etsy

My academia.edu page

My amazon author page.

Walking the Worlds Journal

My art blog at Krasskova Creations

My blog about all things strange, weird and medieval.

And if you like what you see, consider becoming a sponsor at Patreon.

Final Card in the Mothers Series

The Mother’s Series is finally finished. Here is the final card in the group: Penelopeia by Grace Palmer.

penelopeia painting2x4

 

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Be sure to check out my other sites:

Wyrd Curiosities at Etsy

My academia.edu page

My amazon author page.

Walking the Worlds Journal

My art blog at Krasskova Creations

My blog about all things strange, weird and medieval.

And if you like what you see, consider becoming a sponsor at Patreon.

Two New Agons

Seems like this is taking off, which is wonderful to see. There are two other Agons running this month: 

The first is an Agon to Apollo. You can read about that here. It’s running from March 31 to April 30 and submissions must have been created for this agon specifically. There are prizes. 

The second is for Athena. This too runs through April 30 and there are prizes. You can read about this agon here

Check them out and consider submitting something. 

Entry #5 for the Ares Agon

Ares at Gaugamela
By Petros

Koinos waited for them to hit. The Persians were coming. They were screaming as they came and they were terrifying.

He was not feeling so brave at the moment. Despite the heat of the day, he felt cold, even as his sweat dripped beneath his linothorax. He hoped that no one had noticed the piss running down his legs.

He prayed to the Gods that the men next to him wouldn’t see his shaking or see that he could barely keep his sarrisa at the proper height and angle.

He wanted to run.

“Don’t worry boy. I’m here.”

Koinos looked to his right at Amyntas.

Amyntas who rarely spoke. Amyntas who never joined the boisterous drinking after the day’s march.

In fact, last night Amyntas had been alone, just outside of the firelight kneeling in front of a stone he had placed on a stump.

Koinos had blearily noticed him pouring wine over the small black stone that he carried with him on campaign. He could hear him muttering something, though with all the pre-battle revelry going on, it was hard to hear his words.

But, today, he could hear him. His voice was…different.

“Don’t worry boy. I’m here.”

What?

“Today your shield will not drop. Your spear will not shatter. The blood of the barbarians will flow like wine from my brother’s cup.”

Koinos again took his eyes off of the onrushing Persians to glance at Amyntas.

Amyntas seemed larger somehow. His shoulders were rising and falling like a bull’s. His breath loud. His voice more like a growl now.

“Let them fall like harvested grain beneath our blades.”

And then Amyntas turned to Koinos.

“Are you with me boy?”

Koinos stared into the face visible behind the helmet’s face guard. The too-white teeth smiling at him. The eyes glowing the way a man’s never could.

He could only nod, his mouth too dry for words.

“Good boy.”

When the Persian line collided with the Macedonian phalanx, Amyntas, who-was-not-Amyntas, began to laugh.

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Be sure to check out my other sites:

Wyrd Curiosities at Etsy

My academia.edu page

My amazon author page.

Walking the Worlds Journal

My art blog at Krasskova Creations

My blog about all things strange, weird and medieval.

And if you like what you see, consider becoming a sponsor at Patreon.

Shrine pictures

After running about making various offerings to Hermes, I spent the rest of the morning redoing my Hermes shrine, and my Loki and Sigyn shrine. 

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Hermes’ place. ^

feb-25-2017-loki-sigyn-shrine-new

Loki and Sigyn’s place.^

The icon above is by Grace Palmer, and belonged to my mom Fuensanta. 

Spending the Morning with Hermes

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I woke up not in pain this morning (a rarity in winter) and decided to spend the day cleaning my Hermes shrine and my Loki shrine. They are overdue for it. First though, I decided to leave offerings for Hermes in a local park. It had come up for me some time ago that I should leave a random offering to Him in a park, and I’d inadvertently put off dong so.

So that means that after breakfast, I headed to the store to buy the oddest, quirkiest assortment of things for Him. I came out with two shopping bags of games, food, and – I kid you not, an eight ball. (He wanted an eight ball. I said the offerings were quirky). Then I set out. I realized quickly that I wasn’t going to be leaving these at one park, but at several.

Putting on some music I associate with Hermes, I first left the majority of the food offerings at the foot of mount Beacon. I venerate the Mountain spirit there, so the offerings were given to both Hermes and the mountain itself. Then I went to one of the local cemeteries. One of the games Hermes had me buy was a set of dominoes. I left that at the top of the cemetery on a bench, with some of the food offerings. He is guide of the dead and in one of the divination systems I know, dominoes represent the bones of the dead. It seemed fitting.

Then I went down to a park abutted by an out of commission train track. He’s been coming to me with hobo imagery of late, so I left some of the non-food offerings at the tracks, and more at the park itself. The eight ball got left in a park between my home and the next town over. (I used the eight ball and asked, “is this a good place to leave this offering,” nestled in a cleft in some rocks, and the answer “you can rely on it.” LOL.). So that’s where that offering ended up.

Then I wanted to give flowers to Hygeia, and make an offering to Sigyn so I headed to the flower store. While there, I thought that I could make another offering to Hermes (leaving flowers on a random grave) so I put together a nice bouquet of yarrow and belladonna (it’s a really pretty purplish blue color), with some baby’s breath and headed over to one of the cemeteries.

I received a couple of omens while coming home upon which I will be pondering long and hard and a gift (no kledones, though I kept an ear open).  Now I’m going to take a break for lunch and get on with cleaning those shrines. So far, it’s been an awesome morning.

The Next Prayer Card from the Mothers Series is Done

Grace Palmer just finished the next card in the Mothers Prayer Card series: Leda, with Zeus in Swan form. 

leda-painting-2x4

So far, about half the cards are finished: Semele, Maia, Leto, Metis, Thetis, and now Leda. We still have Penelopeia, Danae, Alcmene, and Pasiphae (i think I listed Them all) to go. 

Savage Gods – Part II

There is nothing better than mornings spent with the Gods, whether in devotion to Them or fruitful discussion of Them. Today was one such morning. My friend Markos posted this awesome quote by Walter Otto on his facebook this morning:

“No single Greek god even approaches Dionysus in the horror of his epithets, which near witness to a savagery that is absolutely without mercy… He is called the “render of men”, “the eater of raw flesh”, “who delights in the sword and bloodshed”. We hear not only of human sacrifice in his cult, but also of the ghastly ritual in which a man is torn to pieces. Where does this put us? Surely there can be no further doubt that this puts us into death’s sphere. The terrors of destruction, which make all if life tremble, belong also, as horrible desire, to the kingdom of Dionysus. The monster whose supernatural duality speaks to us from the mask has one side of his nature turned toward eternal night.”

~Walter F. Otto, Dionysus: Myth and Cult

We both love Dionysos dearly (and if I’m not mistaken, Markos actually belongs to Dionysos whereas while I love this God, I pay cultus from the fringes). This quote encapsulates some core elements of His nature. He is a terrible God, in the old sense of the word, as One Who brings terror.

Another friend Paul C. mentioned that He is also “nice,” and I have to agree: He can be immensely nice and gentle (and we agreed that sometimes that is more shattering than any cruelty He could bring to bear on the transformation of our souls). Paul said:

“I’ll say that when I first started with Dionysus I didn’t expect him to be nice.

It was the niceness of him that was almost hard for me to handle at first. Due to my background of abuse and other unfortunate things I have a lot of self-confidence and self-esteem issues. His acceptance and love was unexpected and clearly not coming from myself. It was hard because of the whole host of new ideas and perspectives that I had to confront As your husband (Sannion) explained it and I think he’s right that was the God’s own way of molding and helping me.

So niceness isn’t always painless like you think it would be. Sometimes it’s more painful than cruelty when it runs counterbalance to what is in one’s head.” — Paul C. (quoted with permission)

Still, as I pointed out, it’s never the “nice” that people try to elide from their Gods. It’s the Power. I was asked to explain and the conversation that followed was meaty enough that I wanted to share highlights of it here.

People will go to any lengths to make their Gods sweet, nice, and unthreatening, to insist that their Gods aren’t savage or vicious, violent or bold. We want our Gods civilized and ‘modern.’ We want Gods we can control, or at least Gods that don’t challenge us, that don’t drag us down into the morass of our own shit and force us to look at it, and deal with it. We as a culture want Gods Who won’t interfere with our lives and the priorities we set for ourselves. We want Gods of peace so that we never have to stand naked, afraid, trembling, and possibly bleeding and snot faced before Them. We want characters in a storybook. Just look at any of our communities.

Of course positioning a Deity as any one thing alone is always problematic. A God, any God is never just savage or nice. They *are*. They are in a fullness and complexity of Being that I don’t really think we as human beings quite have the capacity to comprehend at all. We may catch glimpses, but the totality is too immense for us to do more than gnaw upon. Think about the story of Dionysos’ Mother Semele. When She was tricked into forcing Zeus to reveal Himself in the fullness of His power it burned Her to ash. A human being, as we are now, simply does not have the capacity to behold the Gods in Their fullness. The masks They wear are necessary but every so often, oh every so often we get a glimpse of some of the roaring Power that lies beneath.

So yes, Dionysos is nice. I can also attest He’s been incredibly nice and gentle with me. but …that’s not the part the average person is going to erase in their minds, I think. We know He’s nice. That’s not the part most people want to forget.

I saw this over the years with Odin. Any mention of Odin’s darker sides — and oh, He is a terribly savage God. Anyone who thinks His veneer of civilization and culture is anything more than a carefully calculated mask is deluding themselves.—His penchant for ordeal, His violence, His savagery inevitably led to claims that I was making this God into a sadist. “That’s not my Odin.” (#notallOdins) No, buttercup, but it is Odin. Maybe it’s not what He’s showing you, but it is absolutely His nature. The best of us learn to revel in it. Those who can’t? Well, there’s always British TV, fanfiction, and pop culture.

There’s a movie that several people in the conversation brought up, one that has strong Dionysian overtones: “The Witch.” In this movie, the Devil in the shape of a black goat drives a rather neurotic Puritan family to ruin. Well, they drive themselves to ruin, and the goat just does what demonic goats do. (#goatlivesmatter). In the end, the goat transforms into a man and asks the surviving daughter: “Do you wish to live deliciously?”

We agreed that this is Dionysos.

This is the Liberator. I have my suspicions that many of the medieval images of Witches’ sabbats were cultural memories of Bacchanalian frenzies with all the potential savagery that might entail. (#livedeliciously).

We should be careful what we do to our Gods. One thing I’ve learned venerating the Norse Gods is this: if we insist on allowing Them only one avenue of manifestation, only one mask, They’ll take it but it won’t be the best outcome for us. We will get the Gods we deserve. When we deny Them the fullness of Their being, we start denying ourselves too and as that movie so beautifully showed, repression never leads anywhere good. (#lokiwivesoftumblr).

So maybe let us live deliciously.

Especially where our Gods are concerned.

Mothers Card Project Update

I want to give folks an update on how the Mother’s Prayer Card project is going. (I could just title this: Grace Palmer is awesome. She’s been whipping these cards out and they’re gorgeous). 

So far, we have cards completed for 

leto-painting-2x4

Leto, Mother of Apollo and Artemis

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Semele, Mother of Dionysos

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Maia, Mother of Hermes (I think this one is my favorite 🙂  There’s just something about little. baby. Hermes).

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Metis, Mother of Athena

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Thetis, Mother of Achilles

The next card currently in progress is Leda, Mother of Helen and the Dioskouroi. If anyone would like to donate to this card, please contact me at krasskova at gmail.com (usual perks apply). 

Once the cards are all finished, I’ll offer them A) as a complete set; B) as a complete set with a signed copy of the novena book; and C) individually. 

Cards still to be done include Alcmene, Danae, Penelopeia, and Pasiphae. 

Submission to Hermes Agon

Here is another [gorgeous] entry to my 2017 Hermes Agon.  Ellen, the creator, is willing to send this to the first person to make a minimum $50 donation to the Mothers Prayer Card Project. Any takers? (The image de Morgan’s painting “Mercury,” the same as on the cover of my Hermes devotional). 

ellen-hermes