An excellent and very moving addition to the celebration of Mother Night here.
Thank you so much, PSVL!
A great many new friends have been made. Presentations have been excellent, even challenging. In the hallway I heard someone say “the only thing I hate about this conference is that I feel like I’m stupid. There are so many intelligent people here, making me think.”
Hard things have been discussed. Alliances have been made. Arguments have been hashed out, or tabled, or set aside in favor of attempting to work together. Sure, not everyone is ready for this or getting as much out of it as I have. But the signs are encouraging.
There’s already talk of another. I’ll be there. Will you?
G this week, is for god.
Which god, you ask?
Sabazios (Sabazius in Latin), the Thracian Horseman, comes to mind. There are a number of excellent writings on Himself, and His worship, throughout the ancient Near East in the forms of various horse-riding deities and saints, warriors and serpents. It’s even possible to see His imagery in the common Ptolemaic (and earlier Egyptian) images of Horus spearing a hippo or crocodile from horseback, that eventually morphed into Mari Girgis or Saint George, Egypt’s patron saint.
Today, my Anomalous Thracian brother shared a link to P. Sufenas Virius Lupus’ most recent and most beautiful hymn to the Horseman with me, and I knew that I had to share it with you. For those who don’t link well, I hope that PSVL doesn’t mind if I share it with you here.
P. Sufenas Virius Lupus
Upon his horse, he defeats serpents,
horned and hooded, vipers and pythons,
but upon the earth and within it
he is the Serpent Itself.
He passes, golden, between the breasts
of the initiates, through their hearts,
and emerges below, whether male or female
or neither, from the region of their sexes.
The burrows through the earth he makes
are the trackways to Hades and Tartaros;
the ways he clears through our hearts
are devotion and virtue and good speech.
Thracians have known this for centuries;
Bithynians and Phrygians as well,
Karians and Lykians and far-off Scythians,
Keltoi and Galatians, and even the Greeks.
Through Meroe of Nubia and Egypt,
the Samothracian isles, and ancient Canaan,
through the marbled streets of Rome
and the forests of Gaul and Germania.
From the pristine landscapes of Hyperborea
to the titan-haunted halls of Olympus
the fame of Sabazios as serpent
is older than Chronos and Kairos.
His flitting tongue upon ears
is the beginnings of prophecy;
his venom in the veins
is intoxication and madness;
his coiling around the finger
is mastery of spear and sword;
his trampling underfoot
is the beginning of liberation.
(But is it the hero who tramples him
or is it he who tramples himself?
Only the eyes of a shadow can see it,
can know it with certainty.)
Through the breasts of gods, even,
he has wound his serpentine way…
therefore, for him this day
may offerings and praise be gathered!
Dele Mezenai, Horseman bless, each and every one of you.
Things have been rough for me offline, with a family death followed on instantaneously by starting a new program at my new grad school, and now preparations for a weekend of lecturing and conference/work. I am sorry to have been behind, and hope to get caught up with all of you soon.
Since my brain has no space left for a new topic, I’ll catch up by sharing links to some interesting things I’ve been reading lately, that you might want to read too. I’ll be back next week with something far better for topics beginning in “D.”
1. People are starting to meet each other in person (gasp!) with this Pagan Tea Time thing. Back in the day I was one of the progenitors of a “Pagan Tea House” on the AOL network. Loving both that people are using a similar name for the idea, AND that they’re getting to know each other as human beings and not just words on screens. Keep it up.
2. In this post, Oracle talks about ritual as a “love letter to the Gods.” I could not like this post enough.
3. The difference between purity and perfection, beautifully stated, by a Kemetic Orthodox priest.
4. Even if you don’t like rain or children, this will give you life. Or it should.
5. On conversion and appropriation, or what happens when the religion you once appropriated starts appropriating you….
6. Respect the divine weapons, even when they are aimed at you. (I love me some Hanuman!)
7. On compassion and unification (or, more blessing and less smiting)
8. Have a good week and we’ll talk soon!
Today (well, yesterday now, thanks to me taking too long to post – good going, Ag) is supposed to be the first day that the Pagan Blog Project goes down. I registered as a PBP blogger (#35 in this list), and I spent most of the last several days trying to figure out what I wanted to post about that started with A. Be grateful I didn’t subject you to an exposition on why my name is Agriakosos! (Agi will do fine, thank you very much.)
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there wasn’t any other “A word” I could start with besides one:
Everything we are, everything we do, involves ancestors. Even if we don’t want to acknowledge them (maybe they were cruel to us in life? maybe we’re adopted and we don’t even know who they are?), they are out there, and we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them. For good or for ill we all have ancestors, and thus they are the one constant in human life. We don’t even have to choose to have children – but we can’t opt out of parents. Voila. Ancestors. Congratulations. You have some.
Fine, you have ancestors. Now what do you do with them?