Check out this awesome interview at Wild Hunt with Markos Gage. He’s an awesome artist. His work is beautiful and at times mind-blowing. He and his partner Wayne have created several of the beautiful icons that I’ve turned into prayer cards. (He takes commissions, folks). Making art is a sacred thing, all the more so when it’s done directly and mindfully for the Gods. Check out the interview. I might have asked other questions, but overall, it’s pretty good and you get to see lots of pictures of Markos and his art.
I’ve never ever understood this one (though it always amused me) so I’m very grateful for the insight of the Dionysian Artist for clarifying. I”m posting here with his permission.
“A note on miasma and marriage. Within the discussion of miasma people are expressing puzzlement at why being involved / witnessing a marriage causes miasma. This is really an issue with our current culture. Our view on death are extremely limited. A marriage was synonymous with a funeral, likewise was initiatory mystery tradition. Marriage, funeral and initiation were all linked. It was an act of killing off one identity and creating a new one, especially for the bride. These traditions still continue today, it’s just we forget their meaning. But they usually include name changing (in fact if we examine every traditional aspect of the modern marriage ceremony it has direct parallels with The Eleusinian Mysteries.) The Eleusinian Mysteries was itself a ‘re-enactment’ of the marriage of Kore to Haides – the death of Kore and rebirth of her as Persephone. That is why marriage causes miasma. We are witnessing the death of the maiden to become a woman.”
Thank you, Markos!
Markos Gage, the Dionysian Artist has written a powerful call to creative and artistic arms here. He talks about the importance of art, the jadedness that comes of being saturated to overflowing with crap mainstream images, and the possibility that we can reverse this trend, offering us the rallying cry:”Maybe, just maybe, if we can work together to produce good art for our gods we can break the jadedness of mainstream culture…”
Food for thought, folks. food for thought. This is partly why I’m so committed to my prayer card project.
As part of my shout out to the artists who’ve worked with me on prayer cards, today I want to profile Lykeia, Halldora, Markos and Wayne, and Ptahmassu Nofra U’aa. I promised to post each profile as soon as I got them from my artists and all of these arrived one after the other in my inbox so you get to check them all out at once. I’m so awed by their art, serously — and I say that as an artist. Their work is beautiful and opens doors for the Gods. Let’s learn a little bit about them:
Lykeia is a priestess of Apollo who paints, sculpts, and crafts sacred images and items. She maintains an Etsy shop here, a fineartamerica shop here, and also takes orders via her facebook page here. She does take commission work. Check out her shop folks.
Here is a sneak peak of her next prayer card: Mars.
Halldora is an artist and art major who also works in a number of different media. She has an artistic presence at Etsy, at Deviant Art, on facebook, at artstation, at behance, on Society6, and Tumblr. Go look at her art. It’s stunning. She does take commission work. (I particularly recommend checking out her tarot deck on etsy. It’s a powerful and magical thing. Using these cards is like slipping into a fairy tale world completely infused with magic. The only other deck I’ve used so good at opening doors in one’s magical consciousness is the Crowley deck. I tried to leave a review of them at etsy, but wasn’t able to. Go, look at them. they’re gorgeous).
Here is a look at her Gaia card.
Wayne McMillan and Markos Gage are an artistic partnership – Pan Fine Art. Known locally in the city of Melbourne, Australia, for their street art. They also offer limited services for devotional art for polytheists. Their specialist theme is Greek gods and mythology. Markos is a Hellenic polytheist and devotee of Dionysos.
Here is their Dionysos card.
Ptahmassu is a sacred craftsman who specializes in Kemetic icons. This is what he says about his work:
“I regard my work as a Kemetic iconographer as the continuation of a five-thousand year old tradition of crafting sacred images that become the repository of the very Gods they represent. In these regards, I do not see my work as an exercise in modern art, painting for the sake of expressing the view my human ego has of my world. Although this is a perfectly legitimate and respectable profession, the profession of icon making comes from a completely different impulse, and it should be- if being applied correctly- an impersonal act to glorify the deity, not the artist.
My icons are not Egyptology/ archaeology art, nor are they “mythological” art. I have maintained a lifelong passion for ancient Egyptian culture, art and archaeology, which of course includes the avid study of Egyptology and the discoveries and scholarship of academic Egyptologists; however, my practice of Kemetic iconography is not part of an intellectual exercise or exploration of Egyptian history and “mythology”. It is instead a vital component of the living practice of my religion, which is the original and ancient religious tradition of the Egyptian people.
The Goddesses and Gods I paint and gild through my craft are the same Gods worshiped by the Egyptians millennia ago, and these are gods who receive our worship, hear our prayers, heal our bodies, provide joy and redemption, and grant us eternal life. They are not the superstitious byproducts of a defunct civilization and dead religion, nor a “New Age” concept of divine archetypes of a single, unified supraconsciousness.
The Gods, the Netjeru I consecrate in my icons, are living gods with their own personalities, powers, spheres of influence, and unique relationships with their devotees. They exist, each in their own right, independent of human thought and human will; and yet interact with us, court our worship and our devotion, and interact with us through our prayers and desires. To know their love is to know the unconditional love of a parent to a child, and the ultimate reality of creation through which immortality is possible.
The religion of the ancient Egyptians was founded upon cultic service, performing ritual actions that directly linked the physical human world with the spiritual realm of the Netjeru or Gods. Unlike the Abrahamic faiths, the traditions of the book, the Egyptians did not fix the practice of their beliefs upon abstract philosophical thought or authoritative doctrine. Instead, they communed with their Gods through the activities of the temple, and the consecration of images and ex-vottos that were central to private worship. The ancient Egyptian way to the Sacred was through doing, not believing, and vital to this process was the presence of the cult image, the ba or sekhem.
Egyptian temples were established as the literal houses of the Gods on earth, and within their grandiose spaces were maintained specially charged and consecrated images that were held to be an earthly counterpart to the ethereal bodies of the Gods. These images were the focus of enormous cult industries, whose entire purpose was the maintenance of the cosmic order (Ma’at) by way of drawing the Gods through directly into the world They had created. Through such a reciprocal relationship, where human beings bestowed offerings of precious goods and sacred rites, the Gods were engaged into giving humankind the vital ingredients to sustaining life- both here on earth and in the hereafter.
In the current era, burgeoning spiritual communities and solitary practitioners are emerging with the desire to reconnect humankind with these ancient Gods, and to restore the vital rites by which such a sacred relationship may thrive again. The original iconographic forms of the Netjeru are being called forth, revived, and given new life by artisans working within the authentic Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian) canon.
Through the establishment of my iconography business, Icons of Kemet, I am committed to the service of the Netjeru through the creation of holy images that may once again become the focus of devotional cultus. Thus the icons of Icons of Kemet are not decorative art objects or showpieces of the mythological, but serve, rather, as the earthly counterparts to living gods. These are embodiments of sacred beings who still have a vital role to play in the destiny of the human condition.”
Where to find the work of Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa online:
Here is his Ra card.
So check them out and Artists, a huge, huge thank you for all your hard and beautiful work.
So I have been following the issue with offerings (started by relative outsiders to Morrigan cultus commenting on whether or not it was appropriate to make certain offerings to Her) with growing dismay. I want so much for our communities to be more devotionally sophisticated than some of these debates allow us to appear. Perhaps though by the very act of discussing and debating these things, we’re forced to consider our own position, and that relative to our traditions and those are good things. So, I’m going to be wading in.
Markos, the Dionysian Artist has been talking about this here (and he gives all the relevant links) with Rhyd Wildermuth and others. Rhyd posted an article to which Markos responded and the conversation continued via facebook. I flat out questioned the relevancy of Rhyd’s argument, which seems to me to be little more than reducing our gods and Their cultus to meaninglessness to which he responded:
“On the contrary, rather than reducing anything to meaninglessness or getting out of something inconvenient, this is doing the really, really inconvenient work of worlding a god beyond just what we give them. Gods can’t be bought off with offerings anymore than humans can; what they want (as you well know) is what we really have to give them: the world. That’s how they become our meaning and we theirs, and how they become known to others through our actions.”
To which I will now share my response, because these are issues in which we should all have a vested stake.
“Ah I see your confusion. I should have realized this would be difficult for someone with a Marxist mindset to understand. It’s really quite simple: the purpose of offering to the gods is not to buy Them. It is not the equivalent of bribing a human being. The purpose is an expression of devotion that interweaves Them into the fabric of our world and that augments and develops a “language” if you will by which we may engage and that is a tremendous privilege.
What you are suggesting is no different at its core than something John Halstead might write. You are denying the Gods a material presence in our reality and privileging the human fear of meaning, of infinite relevance. You’re also privileging your own personal leftist dialectic over the parameters of devotion (parameters that the gods have clearly already laid down for us — sometimes the work is done for us, not often but sometimes), parameters that mark a clear and cosmic hierarchy in which our “place” is a limited one (yet one with infinite potential to evolve and grow). It’s a position that ignores that the gods do not need us to give Them relevance; instead maybe we should be looking to Them and the navigation of our relationship with Them, to define our own relevance.
As much as you rail against power structures in your writings, what I see here is no more than resistance to Their sovereignty.
The Gods already have the world Rhyd. As much as They are transcendent Powers, They are likewise deeply immanent and inscribed in every atom. They don’t need us to give the World to Them. Perhaps They need us to wake up and realize it is already Theirs and return to right relationship with it and Them but the world is not ours to give.
That is in part the paradox of devotion: There is nothing we can give Them that They do not already possess and yet perhaps we in some way are cleansed and ennobled spiritually by entering into the offertory cycle. It nourishes that right relationship. Not as alley Valkyrie assumed is it the culmination of ones relationship devotionally with the Gods. It is the beginning, the baseline, and act of vulnerability that positions us relative to the Gods as suppliants, those who acknowledge Their sovereignty as Gods with all that implies.
You also high handedly criticize those who would accord to the ways of our ancestors, who would restore rightful and pious practices like sacrifice. You not only do so with us but with all the many indigenous religions in the world that reverence rites of sacrifice ( the Afro-carribbean religions, Hinduism, etc.) and all because you have a knee jerk reaction to acknowledging with our offerings the capacity for devastation inherent in each of our Gods. For someone who criticizes oppression of the Other and condemns racism as you do in your work, I have to say that was very white of you.”
I encourage people to read all of the relevant articles and to familiarize yourselves with the parameters of this debate. The future of our traditions is something that should involve us all and in which, we should all have a vested interest. It’s important not only to know what’s happening but to understand where ideas may ultimately lead. To venerate the Gods has consequences in our lives, each and every day. That’s no small thing.