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Our Gods Are So Good To Us

They are so incredibly good to us in ways large and small! Sometimes it really does take my breath away, and it is so incredibly humbling to know how keenly we are held in Their sight. This was really driven home to me yesterday in the most prosaic of ways. Let me set the stage for my tale. 

My husband injured his back not too long ago and I’m disabled (in part due to spinal damage accrued when I was dancing professionally. Ballet is brutal). Our housemate recently tore her rotator cuff gardening. (Nature is brutal too). We had close to eighteen inches of snow dumped on us very late Wednesday night, so when I woke on Thursday, there was a beautiful, glittering blanket of white all across our yard. Usually Sannion would shovel, but while he heals up, that’s not possible (not without the risk of reinjury). I’m not supposed to shovel (doctor’s orders, due to my own back issues) but I figured, well, someone has to do it, and I’m a tough bitch, so I thought I’d give it a shot. That was quickly a no go as I realized if I continued, I was going to seriously hurt myself. I know my body and I know when it’s sensible to push ahead and when I need to back the fuck off and sit down and at my age, I’m smart enough to listen.

So, I spent about an hour calling around town and posting on local groups to find someone who could shovel our drive, but that was a completely fruitless endeavor. In the meantime, we’d had groceries delivered quite early, or at least we were supposed to have had them delivered.  The delivery woman hadn’t bothered to let us know she was at our door, though I provided my number, and rather than wear boots like a sensible person and bring the groceries to our door as we’d paid her to do, she shoved them under my car. Yes, you read that correctly. She put three bags of groceries in the snow *under* my car and left. (She told her supervisor that she put them on top of my white van. Mind you, I don’t have a white van). We thought that they’d not been delivered (even going out and looking around, we weren’t able to see them – she put them under the car on the street side of the car) so the part of my morning that wasn’t spent trying to find someone to shovel was spent on the computer with the delivery company getting a refund and filing a complaint about the delivery person. (If you take a delivery job the day after a blizzard and don’t have the sense to wear boots, I have zero sympathy for you). They were good about making restitution – more on that in a bit. 

I had awakened in a good deal of pain (I’d pulled a muscle badly the day before) and none of this helped. It was shaping up to be a really awful day. We gave up, did a few informal prayers (I have started doing a brief morning ritual, but that didn’t happen yesterday), ending with an unspecified plea for help. Things immediately turned around. It was really kind of stunning.

Our lovely mailman, who is just an angel, came two hours earlier than usual, found the groceries and carried them up to the house for us. He didn’t have to do that, and the kindness almost made me cry. (I contacted the delivery service to cancel my refund since I had my groceries). We had pretty much given up getting our drive shoveled (and ok, it’s not like we are going anywhere, but I’d still like to be able to take my garbage down to the street and get to my mailbox, plus, if there’s any type of emergency, we need that mobility) when the doorbell rang. It was a young man whom I’d never seen before. He told us, a little dazedly, and he repeated this several times, that a voice told him to come to our house, and he asked if we’d like him to shovel. He did a marvelous job and we told him quite frankly that he was literally the answer to our prayers. 

The rest of the day was quiet and uneventful. The bad energy and unpleasantness of the morning was completely gone.

All of this reminds me of something that happened to me seven or eight years ago. I had promised to make steak and offer to it Hermes. The day I owed the meal, we had another blizzard. I’m an uncertain driver in such weather (it was really bad), so I went to Hermes’ shrine and prayed and told him, “I’m sorry but I don’t think I can safely drive to get your steak.” (There were no grocery delivery services in our area then). “I’ll go out as soon as the weather clears up.” I made a liquid offering and went about my business and less than ten minutes later – no joke—a dude rings my bell. He’s a traveling salesman selling…steak. I’d never seen him before and haven’t seen him since. He wanted to get one more sale before calling it a day and heading home before the weather got worse. I bought a ton of steak and Hermes had His offering. 

The moral of this story, my friends, is that the Gods do listen to our prayers, large and small, and sometimes the answer is no, but sometimes it’s a yes so loud and unsubtle that we can’t help but be knocked on our butts. Hail to Them all. 

Yuletide Shopping Guide – Greco-Roman Products

I created the Yuletide Shopping Guide in part because Yule is one of my favorite times of year. The guide features items polytheists would enjoy seeing in their homes or under their tree this yuletide. All with the hope of spreading some holiday cheer in a difficult year by finding items that can help feed our devotions within our polytheistic traditions, but also to hopefully along the way lift up some of the artisans in our midst too. So far I’ve included resources for crafters, makers, and DIYers: cookie cutters, crafting molds, fabric (MesoamericanEgyptianGreekNorthern Europe), machine embroidery designs, cross-stitch and embroidery patterns, as well as knitting and crochet patterns. I’ve also highlighted some items on a Krampus theme. I’ve spotlighted items you can use to deck the halls and trim the tree. 

There were some artists and artisans who offered a range of product across pantheons, or whose work focuses on a tradition that I didn’t have enough items to spotlight on it’s own. So I highly recommend that you carefully peruse the spotlighted artists and artisans in my miscellaneous Part 1, & Part 2. You will find offerings encompassing a vast array of traditions: Norse, Slavic, Celtic, Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Hindu, Polynesian, Mesoamerican, Minoan, Assyrian, Sumerian, Welsh, Asian, Native American/Inuit, and more!

Today I’ll be featuring items of interest for polytheists within Cultus Deorum (Roman Polytheism) and Hellenismos (Greek Polytheism).

ArxMercatura

ArxMercatura based in the Ukraine offers items for modern practitioners of Cultus Deorum with religious statues, libation bowls, shrines, Lares, clothes and more.


GoldenGlitterArt

GoldenGlitterArt offers a wide range of blinged out foil art prints, you’ll have to dig among all the offerings but there’s several Greek Gods and Goddesses offered (Hades, Poseidon, Athena, Artemis, Aphrodite, Hera, Hephaestus, and Demeter).


Greekies

SummitCollection offers Greekies, which are hand painted cold cast resin figures of Greek Gods and Goddesses. Artistically, these might be cute statues for a children’s altar.


Miscellaneous

Not all products in the links are depicted in the above image.

Additional resources: The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a mini replica of the Three Graces Statue  and a bust of Thalia. The British Museum has a range of Greek and Roman merchandise too. Be sure to peruse the previous entries in the Yuletide Shopping Guide as there is a range of items relevant to devotees worshipping under the Greco-Roman umbrella.

Yuletide Shopping Guide – Knitting & Crochet Patterns

Makers, crafters and DIYers I have been spotlighting in my Yuletide Shopping Guide resources to help you create items related to polytheistic religious traditions. So far that has included cookie cutterscraft molds, and fabric related to MesoamericaAncient EgyptAncient Greece and Ancient Northern Europe. I’m shared machine embroidery design files, cross-stitch and embroidery patterns, and today I have knitting and crochet patterns (including amigurumi) to share.

Not all patterns below are depicted.

Please let me know if there are any errors, with all the copy/pasting it is easy to make a mistake. If there’s something you think I should spotlight in the yuletide shopping guide, please contact me and let me know. So concludes our fabric resources, but there will be more resources to come! Stay tuned.

Yuletide Shopping Guide – Fabric – Ancient Greece

2020 has been a chaotic year. So I decided to put together a Yuletide Shopping Guide with the intent to help artisan members of our community & to help spotlight items that support our religious devotions and practices. I’ve started with craft resources for our DIYers, including cookie cutters, craft molds, and fabric related to Mesoamerica and Ancient Egypt.

Hellenics will be especially interested in some of these options. Among the fabrics there are designs featuring over a dozen of the Gods and Goddesses of Olympus. There’s quite a selection with fabric styles ranging from sophisticated, to cute, to brightly bold or more modern. Have you been looking for a toile and love Dionysos? Some of the patterns are merely a nod to ancient Greek culture and archaeological finds, but I opted to include those as well.

Pay attention to the product listings, as there are multiple options for fabric, some designs are also available as wallpaper, or as finished goods (like tablecloths, pillowcases, and face masks).


Miscellaneous Designers

Instead of starting with designers who have a large number of prints available in our Grecian theme, I thought I would begin today with some of the designers who might just have one pattern of interest.


ThinLineTextiles

ThinLineTextiles has a range of Greek influenced patterns in different sizes and colors, as well as some variations on a pattern with Atlas.


Spellstone

Spellstone has a pattern collection themed around ancient Greek culture with soldiers, owls, horses, and geometrics.


ColorOfMagic

Color of Magic has a pattern collection themed around Persephone in a range of colors, with coordinating fabrics with pomegranates, geometrics and more.


Siya

Siya has a wide array of very bold colors and coordinating fabrics with geometric patterns for her Greek goddess patterns (grouped by the designer in color collections for Evening, Summer, and B). Siya also has a stand alone pattern themed around Hypnos and Pasithea, and an ionic column pattern too.


Please let me know if there are any errors, with all the copy/pasting it is easy to make a mistake. If there’s something you think I should spotlight in the yuletide shopping guide, please contact me and let me know. Northern Tradition polytheists will love the next installment as I spotlight some fabrics for them.

May Hermes Be Hailed Now and Always!

What a beautiful thing! Someone did a bit of guerilla art: this person put up a shrine to Hermes in the Brooklyn subway. My friend M. sent me the link yesterday and you can check it out here. I think this is just wonderful (and I particularly like that it looks like some offerings have been made). We need more of this! May Hermes and all our Gods ever and always be loved.

Here are some pictures from the link above of the shrine. May Hermes smile upon whoever did this. Bravo/a.

Bookversary: Honoring the Mothers

3 years ago today Honoring the Mothers made its initial debut.
51p3GltU6TL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_“Honoring the Mothers” is a collection of novenas to ten holy women, mothers of heroes like Achilles and Perseus and Gods like Hermes and Dionysos. These mighty women received cultus in the ancient world. They were reverenced, honored, venerated. This novena booklet provides a starting point for those wishing to honor them today.

Available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2htKzyB

Praying to Hermes

“Lovers find secret places
inside this violent world
where they make transactions
with beauty.”
― Rumi

He is beautiful. All Gods when They come to stand before the eyes of the soul are beautiful. Hermes granted me that and it saved me. He came in a dream and I could not breathe. He came in a dream and it was just for a moment that I saw Him and it nourished me though a week that would otherwise have brought me to my knees. Such encounters, no matter how fleeting, change the shape of the soul. They bring our hearts into alignment with the holy just a little bit more. They not only sustain but they transform. I don’t know what I carry now as a result of that encounter but I am so grateful.

It is the work of our souls to fall in love with our Gods, to seek Them out fervently, fiercely, unceasingly. To love a God is a fire that turns our worlds inside out. It brings us back to the moment of creation, the moment the Gods breathed or burned, willed or wove the cosmos into being, the moment divine architecture was created. To love a God means we are woven into being again and again always renewing and renewed. Our souls become intimately bound up in the constant reiteration of divine order. We take part in a song that binds everything in our world to our Gods. We take part in nourishing the Tree that nourishes us in return.

hermes

(“Hermes” by Pierre et Gilles)

Bookversary: In Praise of Hermes

🏺Today is the three year bookversary! 🏺

Hellenics especially might enjoy this devotional to the Greek God Hermes. ⚕️

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“In Praise of Hermes” is a novena booklet to the Greek God Hermes. It provides an introduction about this God and nine days of prayers in His honor.


Available on Amazon

Cooking for Hermes

It is hotter than hell today in New York, even with air conditioning. I’m taking a break from a full day of cooking to write this and it’s a nice chance to sit own under a fan and rest my feet. I have deepest respect for the women in our ancestral lines who spent the majority of their time running a home, cooking, cleaning. I love to cook but don’t have to do so daily and I forget how exhausting it can be. It’s good to be reminded sometimes and I find it helps me connect more to my female ancestors overall.

Anyway, Hermes did us a good turn recently and asked for chicken. I divined to see if He wanted full sacrifice but the answer was no, cooking chicken for Him would suffice and since He always seems to approve of citrus dishes (especially sweets) when we offer them, I’m making lemon chicken. (I’ve included all the recipes below. He also wanted pie). Whenever I do a divination session, I ask if it’s ok to close the session. We literally could not close the divination until we’d worked out what meal to cook for Him. Unlike with sacrifice in our house, we’ll share in this meal too, unusual for us, but something He wanted.

So, in case anyone is interested, I wanted to share the recipes. Don’t poo-poo the vinegar pie. It’s an Appalachian dish, dating to the early 18th century, a poor-man’s lemon tart. It does not taste like vinegar at all, but like a lemon pie or tart citrus custard. So, give it a chance. You won’t be disappointed.

Lemon Chicken

Ingredients: 3 pounds of chicken or 4 breasts with bone.
4-6 lemons cut into slices
2 TBLS dried oregano
salt, pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 F. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Coat bottom of baking dish with olive oil. Arrange lemon slices on olive oil. Combine spices and rub thoroughly over chicken. Place chicken skin side down over lemon. Bake 20 minutes. Turn chicken skin side up. Reduce heat to 350 F and continue cooking 35 minutes (longer if necessary but until chicken is very tender You can, if you wish, broil it for a few minutes to cook the skin).

 

Basic White Sauce and Creamed Spinach

Equal parts butter and all-purpose flour (about 1/3 stick of butter). Put it in a pan. Melt and whisk together. Add spices – since I’m doing this with spinach, I used red pepper flakes, salt, and nutmeg. Add at least two cups of milk – eyeball it. Add until you think you’ve added too much. Stir continuously until it thickens. Add spinach. Keep stirring – it WILL cook down and get creamy just when you think it won’t.

 

Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Two and a half pounds of all-purpose potatoes
1 TBLS salt, 1 tsp pepper, olive oil, 4 finely chopped shallots
3 large chopped garlic cloves.

Preheat oven to 450 F. Coat bottom of pan with 2/3 cup olive oil. Cut potatoes into quarters if they’re small, or dice them if large. Spread in a single layer on the oil. Add spices, shallots, and garlic. Toss thoroughly. Cook for 20 minutes. Turn and stir. Cook for another 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Vinegar Pie

4 eggs, 1 ½ cups white sugar, ½ cup butter melted (one stick), 2 TBS. apple cider vinegar, ½ tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. nutmeg, 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Combine everything and mix well with mixer. Pour into 9” pie shell. Cook 25 minutes. This WILL BE WOBBLY when it is done. Just relax. Let it cool before you cut it and it’ll firm up as it cools. LEAVE IT ALONE UNTIL IT IS COOL. Trust me on this one.

(I made a whole-wheat pie crust today for this, but you could use any type of pie crust. I have various recipes that I use and it just depends on how lazy I’m feeling. Lol).

Now I’m off to finish my prep for dinner.

In Gratitude to Hermes

Thank you, Hermes,
Oh, Giver of Good things.
Before my prayer was even fully uttered,
You answered it.
What a sweet and unexpected gift,
a grace and an utter delight!
I rest safe in the knowledge
that You, clever and generous God,
most gracious, most loving,
protect and provide.
Before the shape of my need
has even been formed in my heart,
You have spied it out.
You have showered me
with unexpected blessings,
large and small.
I am grateful, Oh my God,
so immensely grateful,
and ever will I honor You.
Hail Hermes, ever my Champion.(1)

(by G. Krasskova)

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1. One of His by names is Promakhos – champion.