Honoring the Horseman (Pagan Blog Project, Week 15)

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under stars the rider comes
hooves dancing on rock
spear clattering
horse snorting
wind whispering
His name

terror and safety
war and peace
growing and dying
He spears Himself
breaks open earth
rides off with the prize

horseman protect
as you destroy
build as you tear down
live as you die

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God (Sabazios) (Pagan Blog Project, Week 13)

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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.

Horus the Horseman - Ptolemaic relief in the Louvre

 

Image of St. George (Mari Girgis) over a church in Old Cairo

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.

Serpent Sabazios
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!

*****

Khaire Sabazie!

 

Dele Mezenai, Horseman bless, each and every one of you.

Fear (Pagan Blog Project, Week 11)

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“Purity is piety, honesty, and fear of the gods.”
– inscription on the walls of the Ptolemaic-era temple of Horus, Edfu, Egypt

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn to see fear’s path. When the fear has gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
– the Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear, quoted by Frank Herbert in Dune

“I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep. I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”
– Alexander III “the Great” of Makedon

Fear is an important concept for the modern-day Pagan who embraces the chthonic traditions of Thrace. To the Greeks, a titanismos was a Thracian battle-hymn so fierce, so filled with the terror of the sons and daughters of Nyx, that the Thracians’ enemies would simply turn and flee, if they weren’t frozen to the spot. And of Titanismos as the modern acknowledgment of our Titanic progenitors, our brother the Anomalous Thracian is fond of saying: “This is Titanismos. You should run.”

What does it really mean to have “fear of the gods,” as the Egyptian inscription instructs Horus’s priests to have? Can fear ever be a positive thing, particularly related to the idea being afraid of the Divine? What about other kinds of fear? Are they a force to be avoided, or, as the Litany quoted above suggests, could they become a weapon to use to our benefit?

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Egypto-Thracian? (Pagan Blog Project, Week 9)

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This week’s Pagan Blog Project asks for a post whose subject begins with the letter “E.” Of course, the big one for me as Agriakosos, Her Fierce Daughter…is Egypto-Thracian.

So what’s an Egypto-Thracian, anyway?

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Devotional Polytheism (Pagan Blog Project, Week 8)

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Galina Krasskova posted an excellent set of blog prompts around devotional polytheism on her blog yesterday. I intend to use them to direct some of my posting here, whether part of the Pagan Blog Project or not. I love the idea, and thank her for sharing it!

For this week, I’ll handle #1:
What wealth have the divinities brought into your life?

That’s a huge question. Can I attribute anything specific to my deities, in terms of wealth? How do I define wealth in the first place? Is it necessary, or even desirable, for deities to bring me wealth? Do They do it all, or am I also responsible for some of it? I could blog for a long time….

For my purposes here, I’ll define wealth as ‘an abundance of a thing,’ and leave it open-ended; and I will not get into the question of whether or not deities are obligated to bring me wealth, if I have responsibility for it or not, etc. Let’s just talk about the basic concept.

Yes. I do believe my Egypto-Thracian deities have brought me wealth. They have done so in a number of different ways, too, starting even when I was a child and continuing to today.

They brought me spiritual wealth in the sense of opening my mind and my horizons to the beautiful, diverse world of Spirit. In recent years, I realized that I was experiencing Egypto-Thracian deities long before I was practicing a strictly Kemetic religion, and that They were the ones Who introduced me to  other gods and spirits that I needed to get to know along the way. (Thank You.)

They also brought me ancestral wealth – both my father’s bloodlines and my mother’s go back to lands that are defined as Thrace (northern Thrace on my father’s side, and Macedon on my mother’s). Through getting to know these divinities, and allowing Them to be present in my life, They have connected me back to my ancestors – and vice versa. It is humbling, and something incredible, to know that my ancestors and my gods are both part of a big circle or cycle that keeps us together.

In terms of monetary or material wealth, I’m not sure They’ve done much there – but then again, I don’t think I ever put that on Them. I have never expected my deities to function as giant gumball machines in the sky that hand out goodies when I ask. (That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t accept some material assistance from the Powers, of course…)

I’ve also received a wealth of work (in getting to know Them), a wealth in friendship and family (from the people whom They have connected me with over the years), and a wealth in lots of positive things for my own life, from confidence and protection to joy and delight in Their service.