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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Okeanos: The Waters Above

The most ancient Greek gods, the gods before the Olympians, are less anthropomorphic than we are accustomed to thinking of Greek gods as being.  They are huge and impersonal; more places or states of being than they are people.  Just as Gaia is the Earth, and Tartarus is both the Underworld and the Lord thereof, Okeanos, the eldest of the Greek water gods, is place and god and archetype rolled into one.  Some say he is the firstborn son of Gaia and Uranus, but in other tales, he self-created, like Gaia, arising out of primordial Chaos before time began.  

Okeanos is the great river (some say sea) that encircles the world, the source of all water on earth, from icebergs to rivers to the great seas, and even the clouds full of rain above.  The sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars all lie inside his embrace.  From his eastern reaches, the sun daily rises, and into his western waters it recedes at night.  He is the outer boundary of the universe; beyond him, there is only chaos and void.  Okeanos represents the boundary between the known and the unknown.  Originally, some scholars say, he was represented by the Mediterranean, with Poseidon the god of the Aegean.  Over time, as Greek navigational technology improved, and their geography became more accurate, he expanded to the Atlantic. He is the ever-expanding liminal zone between known and unknown. He is that place of which we say "here be dragons". Today, he is the depths of outer space.  However, it is important to remember that he is not a personification of any place in our world, because he is not fully of our world at all.  Like Tartarus, he stands at the boundary of our world and the Other Place.  In battles for supremacy on Earth, such as that between the Olympians and the Titans, Okeanos stays neutral.  And yet, he is the protector and defender of life on earth, standing guard between us and the Outer Darkness.

Thales, whom Aristotle calls the Father of Science, taught that Okeanos (here not just the mythological figure, but Archetypal Water) was the source of all that is.  Aristotle tells us that “Thales, the founder of this type of philosophy, says the archê (first principle) is water, for which reason he declared that the earth rests on water, getting the notion perhaps from seeing that the nutriment of all things is moist, and that heat itself is generated from the moist and kept alive by it (and that from which they come to be is a principle of all things). He got his notion from this fact, and from the fact that the semina (seeds, also semen) of all things have a moist nature, and that water is the origin of the nature of moist things.   Some think that even the ancients who lived long before the present generation, and first framed accounts of the gods, had a similar view of nature; for they made Okeanos and Tethys the parents of creation...”

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Hello, and welcome to my new blog “Myth Maker: Modern Mythopoeia.”

In the next post, I’ll get to the meat of this blog, introducing you to a variety of lesser-known spirits from around the world and telling you the stories and teachings they tell to me. But I thought I’d start off by talking a little about mythopoesis as an art and a magical practice. The English word mythopoesis comes from the Greek μυθοποιία, and literally means “myth-making.” The second part of the word, “poeia,” is the root of our word “poet.”  Historically, the word was an obscure technical term, describing, as Victorian historians would tell it, that period of time when humans made myths “instead of science” to explain the world around them. However, in 1931, J. R. R. Tolkien (author of The Lord of the Rings) published a poem titled Mythopoeia, which was a direct response to his frenemy and Oxford colleague C.S. Lewis’s skepticism about the value of myth.  Lewis (at the time, although his views softened with the wisdom of age) believed that  myths are "lies and therefore worthless, even though 'breathed through silver.”'  Tolkien's poem replies...

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Sarah Keene
    Sarah Keene says #
    One of the best explanations for the importance of myth that I have read comes from the Discworld novel Hogfather by Terry Pratche
  • Sara Mastros
    Sara Mastros says #
    Sarah: That's lovely! Thank you for sharing it.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Nazis with Tiki Torches

Ritualist to the Third Reich Leni Riefenstahl must be spinning (widdershins, probably) in her grave.

Nazis with tiki torches.

Now ain't that pitiful.

They didn't even care enough to make themselves real torches.

If this had been a pagan event, of course, we would have had a community-wide Potluck and Torch-Making a few days before.

But for the organizers of the Charlottesville alt-Reich event, apparently buying bulk at the nearest minimum-wage Big Box store was good enough.

Sorry, folks: as a ritualist, I'm just not impressed. If this is the Great White Hope of the “white race” (whatever that means), I'm afraid the prognosis isn't very good.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Flower petal & herb crafts

Creating beautiful craft items with flower petals, seeds and herbs is relatively easy, here are a few suggestions for you to try...

Flower Fascinations

Fascination means ‘to bewitch and hold spellbound’, they are flower spells and charms.

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A World Underfoot: Meeting Goddess in the Smallest Creatures

Picture a girl or woman coming across an insect unexpectedly. Perhaps you just heard her shriek. Women have been trained to let men stand in and defend them from this fearsome beasts. It’s kind of strange if you think about it, given that any physical strength advantage is relatively meaningless in response to something about an inch or smaller in length. I think I’ve fallen into this squeamish behavior myself for long enough; it’s time to put on my hiking boots and get to know some of Gaia’s smaller beings. As a practitioner of Earth-based Goddess Spirituality, I wanted to take some time to explore ways in which we might learn spiritual lessons from insects as they reflect the presence of Goddess.

Bees

Many insects, including bees, function as a collective. The queen bee is responsible for laying eggs and releasing a pheromone to give the bee colony a unique chemical perfume. The female worker bees feed her, tend to the hive and take care of the offspring. The drones have it pretty rough; they exist to mate with the queen. They are killed in the mating process or kicked out of the hive to starve during winter.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
When the Wights Are Angry

Hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, floods.

I'm not really saying that Republicans are responsible.

Not really.

We would say: climate change.

Traditional societies would say: the wights are angry.

(Wights: literally, “beings”: also, elves, fairies, huldrefolk, land-"spirits", etc.)

Two ways, perhaps, of describing the same thing.

Why are the wights angry?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I would say that the wights are the "interiority" of things. They're those Other People that inhabit the Land, that go by many nam
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    What is the definition of a Wight?
  • Mariah Sheehy
    Mariah Sheehy says #
    A couple years ago at the Irish Fair, I talked with Daithi Sproule, a traditional Irish musician who was retelling the old tales.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I thoroughly agree; they seem to me like two different ways of observing the same phenomenon: one from without, one from within.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember reading an article on Shamanism.org about the author's encounter with an angry cloud being. It seems the cloud being w

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

How do you write about a goddess when there is so little known?  Furrina is the next deity from the atheists’ “graveyard” and I’ve been stuck on what to write for her for months.  She is of ancient origins, probably an Etruscan goddess adopted into the Roman pantheon as a goddess of springs. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Roman_Water_Nymph.jpg

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  • Virginia Carper
    Virginia Carper says #
    As a Roman Polytheist, I can tell you that Furrina is related to water. On July 25, the Furrinalia was held for the Goddess Furrin

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