The thought of ancestor worship makes me flinch. It is not that I do not respect my ancestors or think that they are not deserving of honor, because they do. It is the phrase “worship” that gives me pause. The only ones deserving of worship are the gods.
From the Oak: Let’s hear it for the God!
Many are those that focus on female divinities, leaving male divinities in the shadows if they get mentioned at all. This is a shame. Here I will share my thoughts, stories and prayers on male divinities.
Asklepios (Aesculapius) is traditionally described as the mortal son of Apollo by Koronis or Arsinoe who was then deified after death. Traditionally it is said that as a babe Asklepios was cut out of his dead mother’s body and raised by the centaur, Kheiron, who taught him the arts of healing. He later became so proficient that Zeus ended his life to maintain status quo. Asklepios then was raised up as a god with many temples where people would seek cures.
Young Hermes finds his grandfather sitting on his throne pensively gazing across his island lost in thought. “Grandfather tell me a tale.”
“My tale is a tale of heartache and joy lost,” said his grandfather, never once looking at the child at his feet....
Of the blogs I’ve written so far, this one by far has taken up the most of my time, frustration and with not nearly enough to show for it. I’ve got more questions than answers. This week’s deity is from the Mesoamerican pantheon. This area is widely known home for the Mayans, Aztecs and Incans. Their pantheons overlap so much it is hard for a layman to pick one out from the rest. So I’m going to tell you what I found on one of their deities that caught my attention, listing it in the order that I found it. I make no promises of the accuracy, so this is mostly just an information dump to start you on your own search or for you to throw more information to aid me in mine.
In reviewing an item, I came across a deity named Acat who was described as a Mayan deity of tattooing and tattoo artists. Now I thought this was pretty cool, so I wanted more information. Commence headache. The majority of the information I found in English was the same thing ad nauseum.
Acat, Acat-Cib, Acaat, Ah-Kat: god of tattoos, tattooing and tattoo artists; god of fetal growth and development; God of Life; possible Becab(Bacab) of the East...
So I recently read a blog that said if you want to pray for help for Syria, then pray to the old gods of Syria. I think that is an interesting idea. Who would know the people, their needs, their problems and the sources of dissension more accurately? Who would want healing and unity more? Send them the energy to help them heal their people. For non-polytheistic Pagans, who the gods of the region are may seem unimportant to you but think of it in terms of context. For hard polytheists, it would be important to know who the gods of Syria are. For soft polytheists, it may be important to know to who they are similar. Alternatively, ask your own divinities to relay your prayers/gifts/well-wishes to their Canaanite brethren.
I started a new job this week. It is a job that I’ve always wanted. I work in a library. Responses from my friends have been highly amusing. Anything from “that is the perfect job for you!” to “that’s like putting an alcoholic in charge of a bar”.
I started wondering what god has libraries in his purview. My first thought was Hermes but I connect him more with the internet and buyer/reader beware. My second thought was Thoth or Seshat but neither of those felt right. So I did some googling and stumbled across a blog suggesting Janus as a modern symbol for libraries. Now that is an interesting thought.
A tale for your reading pleasure...this came to me today as I was researching another topic.
A woman frantically spins a crystal in the light from the window making rainbows swirl around the room. “Iris, storm-footed and golden winged, you who nursed my child when I could not, hear me. My boy has been taken from his cradle by Apollon, furious to behold. Tell his father! Bring my baby back!”
So I've only recently returned home from fest and visiting my sister. This is the first good opportunity I've had to sit down and write. Forgive my lateness.
One of the big rituals at the Pagan festival I attend is the Drawing Down. It is where multiple priests and priestesses allow a divinity to take temporary possession of their bodies so that they can speak with devotees. Who you speak with is typically luck of the draw. Rarely are masculine divinities drawn down in my experience, as female divinities are just more popular it seems. Even more rare, in my experience, is having a walker seek out a particular person at a divinity's behest. I experienced both this time.
I’m AWOL this week attending a Pagan festival/retreat here in Colorado. This was written before I left.
I readily admit that thinking about philosophy gives me a headache. Literally. Attempting to discuss it or read it makes me nauseous on top of the headache. I suspect this physical reaction is embedded in the fear that I’m dumber than I like to think and attempting to sound intelligent during a discussion of philosophy will only prove that a 3rd grader is smarter than me. (Oh the dreams along this line are most humbling…)
Last week I received a link to an opinion blog for the New York Times by Gary Gutting, a professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, titled “Did Zeus Exist?”. My friend and philosophy-teaching-hero, EB, summed up the article thusly:...
Kronos (Cronos) the Titan god of time (khronos) and the ages, typically regarded as destructive and all-devouring. He is the youngest of the Titans. Kronos was given a flint sickle by his mother, Gaia, in order to castrate and then depose his father, Ouranos. She did this in anger at Ouranos’ treatment of their more unusual children.
Lacking ideas (please send me some!), I chose to write about Pan this week. A divinity whom I know very little about. Read on to find out what I've learned.
Pan is the Greek god of pastoral life including shepherds, animals and music. This rustic divinity is known to dwell in grottoes during the heat of the day and wander the mountains for his entertainment. He guards flocks, whether wild or tame,
I’m going to step away from my usual blogging theme this week to share a topic that came to me while driving the two hours it took me to get to my camping destination. (Hubby and I are on staff for a Pagan retreat here in Colorado and this was our work weekend.) We had stopped for lunch at a place where the server recognized our t-shirts as Pagan in content. So she proceeded to ask questions which required long answers. Neither of us had the time. I needed to get back on the road and she needed to help her other customers. So in hopes that it will be of service to her (I so hope she emails me!), those just starting out and those that are trying to make sense of what the broader community is, here is my viewpoint. I am NOT trying to start up the “my way vs. your way” debate again…most of this is based on my own experiences and observances. Your mileage, as always, may vary.
Appropriation or syncretisation? Or maybe just the evolution in understanding? You decide.
Zeus is the Greek king of the gods, the god of sky and weather who fertilizes the fields and protects the home. He is the god of law, order and fate. He was typically depicted as a mature, regal man with a beard. Typical symbols associated with him: lightning bolt, eagle, ram, bull, snake, cornucopia and scepter.
Of all the myths, it is the myths of the sun that give me the most trouble. The typical sun myth is that the divinity of the sun rides around the earth in some type of conveyance and then takes a different one or a different form to return to the original starting point. This myth stems from the original belief that the sun travels around the earth. It is the ancient’s explanation for the days and nights. Yet we of the modern era know this is incorrect.
Bulls. Big, strong, temperamental creatures that have had loomed large in man’s past. Bull jumping, bull baiting, bull fights and running of the bulls are events where they were, and in some cases still are, featured. They were used in the form of oxen to pull plows and carts. Their virility kept up herds, generating wealth for their owners. In some areas, placing a bull head above a door gives protection and luck much like the horse shoe. As sacrifices, few animals were more costly. From them we get the terms ‘seeing red’ and ‘bull-headed’. A lot of myths feature bulls, even modern myths like Paul Bunyan and his blue ox. In some cultures, earthquakes are blamed on a rowdy celestial bull believed to have the world upon its horns. A lot of masculine divinities, particularly those of the sun and the sky, are associated with bulls.
Ares is not a very popular god. I'd say in a lot of areas he is pretty reviled. People need to keep in mind that the gods can give or they can take. Ares is not only the bersker, the bloody warrior, the lover of battle. He is also the protective father, the defender of the home and land, the policeman. Some areas would chain his statue as a representation that they wanted him kept close to their home in order to defend it. If you believe that he is the same as Mars, then he also has agricultural aspects (which makes a lot of sense, since blood is a really good fertilizer). But today, I'm not here to discuss Ares but to offer a prayer to him.
(Still on vacation this week! Hopefully my travel mates are still on speaking terms with me!)
The god of the guessing game is Thor!
Too easy? It wouldn't have been for me as I know very little of the Norse pantheon. I can, however, now tell my son the differences between Marvel’s Thor and Thor of the Norsemen.
I’m on vacation this week, so instead of an article I leave you with a guessing game.
My 6 year old son recently asked me about this divinity and how he differed from his doppelganger. Hopefully, this is not too easy. Explanation will be posted next week.