Dionysos and the Pirates

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As part of some rumination with a group of satyrs, maenads, and other fascinating folk calling themselves the Bacchic Underground, we were tasked with making art from Dionysian themes. This week’s homework assignment was to contemplate an ancient story about Dionysos and some pirates. Following is my attempt at rambling poetry:

K12.15TyrrhenioiThe ship has sailed, I tell you.
It’s been headed toward the Deep since that strange night
when we picked up the boy on the island.
No mere boy it was. But at the time,
only one of us was paying attention.
He got to leave the ship intact.

Since then, we’ve followed:
swimming circles in the wine-dark water
Maybe it is wine? Or maybe blood?
No matter now. We keep swimming,
because if we stop we sink down
down
down
to where the faceless things live,
nine days past Hades’ rusted gates
to the place the island-boy called home.
They tried chaining him there, too.
Who chains a loosener?

Fools.

Lucky for us, he has use for fools.

Polytheist Leadership Conference: So far, so good.

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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?

Intermission (Pagan Blog Project, Week 17)

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If you’ve actually been counting, it’s week 20 of the Pagan Blog Project this week. Since I’m posting for week 17, you would be correct in noticing that I disappeared for a month.

Part of me is glad that it was only a month; the rest of me is surprised it was only a month. It seems like it’s been much longer, my intermission. Let it suffice to say that I missed you, and that my intermission was academically related. Graduate school exam time can be brutal. This year, mine was complicated by a complete shift in my dissertation work. Good things are afoot. Sadly they took me away from the internet. Sorry about that.

Other things happened during my intermission as well. It’s interesting, and not that all surprising, that I ended up stopping after two posts about the Thracian Horseman/Hero. He’s been busy here, too. This work has been this way: mention a deity and then that deity’s Presence starts making itself incredibly, obviously known.

I’ll write more about that mysterious experience (and it is a Mystery) as I find words for it. As noted when I started this blog, my (Samo)thracian journey is an ongoing process, and in many ways, I couldn’t even tell you where we’re headed yet. But I can tell you that we’re on the horse.

More on the Horseman (Pagan Blog Project, Week 16)

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Last week, I posted a poem about the Horseman. Previously, I have written about Sabazios, one of the versions of the Thracian Horseman, and linked to others’ excellent writings about Him.

What’s so special about a guy on a horse?

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The image of a Hero (yes, another one of the Thracian Horseman’s names) riding on a horse, either into battle or off to save some innocent in distress, has been with us longer than writing. Even prehistoric cave paintings have horses and riders in them.

There is something epic about the horse: a living, breathing vehicle, that we’ve lost in our modern world of automobiles. Continue reading