Dance Magic Dance

For all you fellow Dionysian our there, I found something that you might want to check out. There’s a labyrinth in the playground of the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle! If you are ever in the area you should check it out! I myself walked it both in and out! Unfortunately there was no sign of Asterion nor Jareth so you’ll have to bring your own masks if you want to play those roles. I’m definitely going to be hanging out here for Pannychia in honor of Ariadne!

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Hymn to Aphrodite Porne

Hymn to Aphrodite Porneby Andrew BaylessSing, O Muse, of Aphrodite Porne: She who watches over sex-workers. The red-light district is Her queendom.The strip-club is Her haunt.She is with you, men and women of the night.She blessed you with beauty and wit.It is She who is concerned for you.When danger is near it is the Cypriot that will save you.Woe betides those who harm Her girls and boys for the Laughter-loving Goddess is no friend to cruel, beastly people.May the Golden Goddess wither the members of men who would dare violate these servants or harm them in any way.May the well run eternally dry for those women who harm Her children.May they never know peace nor joy.May they know the full wrath of the Foam-Born.O Sweet Aphrodite, you who defend the workers in an industry that is given little honor, I sing of your strength!No mortal could ever want when Aphrodite is their patron.Your magnanimity is famous.No servant of yours is without wisdom.O Aphrodite Porne, I praise you for your kindness. Your watchful eye is worthy of song!

Don’t Blame Me

Don’t Blame MeWell, here we are! Home sweet home!Now if you’ll just rest here for a minute or two we can get started on your makeover!You’re going to be such a trendsetter! Everyone will want you! Hell, I’m getting excited just thinking about it!Okay, here we go! Now to just make some incisions here… Hey! What’s the matter?What do you mean why do I have a knife? It’s to cut your insides out.Of course I need to cut your insides out! What kind of resonating chamber has internal organs in it? Hey! Don’t blame me! I already told you what was going on! I found you outside and told you that it was dangerous for you to be outside because someone could turn you into an instrument! Including me! I said “someone”, not “someone other than me.” Watch, they’ll probably call me a liar for the rest of my life despite my first words being truthful and sincere. Everyone’s a critic! Anyways, let me just… Oh what now?! Kill you? Oh I’m not gonna kill you! I’m just going to disembowel you and take out everything that isn’t shell. There’s a difference. What do you mean there is no difference? Of course there’s a difference. I (a divine being) am taking you (a tortoise) and making you a part of me. By becoming mine, you and your kind (I’m taking you all with me) will be sanctified by my divine essence and will share in my glory! You will be in me and I’ll be in you! Kinda sounds hot, doesn’t it? We’ll even give it a name! How about… apotheosis? Yeah, apotheosis! Doesn’t that sound swell?Now hold still! What? Still not convinced? Oh c’mon, it’s my birthday! You’d make the perfect present!Do you realize how important this is?! You’re not just going through apotheosis! No, you are going to be the gate through which my divinity will flow into the world! Together we’ll change history! Literally! See, that’s what I have in store for you. I’m going to turn you into just what I need to rearrange the cosmos to make it just the way I like it. But it’s not just for my benefit! No, you’ll get something out of it too! You’ll be remembered forever as what started it all! Your sacrifice will be so memorable that future devotees of mine will write long poems about it! And I should know about Memory because you and I will be Memory’s colleagues. You and I will be remembered and rememberers! How exciting! We’ll give this a name too! I like axis mundi. Yeah, that’ll make you the center of the new world! Won’t it be great? You’re my little block of marble that I’ll shape to be the pretty stone at the center of it all! See, you’re a stone! You’re already a part of me!Now let’s get to work! Huh? Why you? What do you mean why you? Just look at you!When I saw that pretty shell of yours, I knew that you were just full of potential! Deep inside you there is something wonderful. You might not know it and it might not look like it’s there but it is in you! Right in your gut. Which is why I have this knife!This knife is not a destroyer but a creative force! Once I plunge it in you, you’ll not only have the useless stuff removed but you’ll be filled with a new purpose! My hands will do you up just right and,just when you thought it couldn’t get any more fun,you and I will sing at the climax. You’ll find your voice and a wonderful song will burst forth. A song that will shake up the stars and give us enough room to slip into our new place in paradise! Wait a minute! Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I got ahead of myself. What’s your name? You don’t have one? Then I shall give you a new one to go with your new role!I shall call you Chelys and you will be loved by all. I’ll show you off to my big brother. I can’t wait to teach this kind of stuff to someone! I hope Dad gives us a baby brother who I can teach as well! But enough of that. Come, my dear, let us sing ourselves to heaven. You are the first I will lead to glory eternal!

The Wait Is Over

I’m here to officially announce that my hiatus from blogging is on hiatus. I know you guys are probably disappointed by how I won’t be not talking but in the meanwhile we’ll have to amuse ourselves with discussions on Polytheism such as stuff about devotion, rituals, poetry, history, mythology, and anything else that is relevant. Your regularly scheduled Non-Polytheist programming will not be back after a word from our sponsors!

Hermes the Inventor

Known for his cunning, shrewdness, and sagacity, Hermes is well known for his many inventions. Amongst his inventions are the lyre, the alphabet, the syrinx, withies, the calendar, numbers, weights and scales, boxing, foot racing, writing, the cultivation of the olive tree, astronomy and astrology, dice, fire sticks (with which to create fire), sandals, the music scale, masturbation, and animal sacrifice.

Mystery of the Serpent

The Kerykion/Caduceus is the most important attribute of Hermes’ iconography. Adorned with wings and having multiple functions as a magic wand, herald’s staff, and shepherd’s staff, Hermes would be remiss if he left it somewhere. But there’s one question about Hermes’ staff that seems to be on everyone’s mind: what are the snakes for? As always, the answer to that question is not cut and dry.  
Mythologically speaking, there are two origin stories for the snakes on Hermes’ staff. The first one involves the seer Tiresias. One day while out for a walk, Tiresias saw a pair of snakes copulating and struck them with his staff, killing the female snake. This act offended Hera so much that she decided to punish Tiresias by turning him into a woman. Tiresias then spent the next seven years of her life living as a woman. Tiresias became a priestess of Hera, got married, had children, and even became a famous prostitute. This went on for sometime until Tiresias came upon another pair of snakes copulating. One version of the myth claims that Tiresias left the serpentine lovers alone this time while another versions claims that she struck the pair with her staff and killed the male snake this time. Either way, Tiresias was turned back into a man. Tiresias’ staff (along with the snakes that he killed with it) eventually found its way into the hands of Hermes and he has had possession over it ever since.  
A second possible origin story of the snakes on Hermes’ staff is comparatively shorter and less convoluted. One day, Hermes was going about his when he came upon a male snake and a female snake fighting. Wishing to stop the fight, Hermes cast his staff into the middle of the fray, successfully coming between the two animals. The snakes then entwined themselves around Hermes’ staff and began copulating. This particular myth is indicative of Hermes’ heraldic role as a harbinger of peace and glad tidings .  
On a more practical level, some scholars suggest that the snakes on Hermes’ staff are a fanciful reference to the white ribbons that hung off of the staves of heralds. Others suggest that the snakes are symbolic of prudence, life, health, and other related ideas.

Bees?

When Hermes was a baby, he asked Apollon to teach him the art of prophecy. Apollon quickly told the young Hermes that it was decreed by fate that only Apollon would know what went on in the mind of Zeus (it is from Zeus that Apollon derives his prophetic powers). However, Apollon did not leave his younger brother without some kind of divinatory skill. Apollon remembered when he was a little boy that he was taught a form of rustic divination by the Thriae. Named Melaina, Kleodora, and Daphnis, the Thriae are three bee nymphs that live on Mount Parnassus that are described as having the upper bodies of women with the lower bodies and wings of bees. A kind of white meal, perhaps barley, is bestrewn in their hair and they are said to draw prophetic inspiration from consuming a mysterious, honey-like substance. These three Goddesses taught Apollon an ancient form of divination favored by shepherds and cattle-herders (of whom Apollon and Hermes are patrons) that involved the casting of pebbles from an urn. Apollon had the Thriae put Hermes under their tutelage and Hermes has since been the presiding deity over this form of divination.  
Depicted here is a relief of a Bee Goddess, possibly one of the Thriae, that can be viewed in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.

He is

Hermes is the Word. Hermes is the Silence. Hermes is the Luck. Hermes is the Traveler. Hermes is the Hospitality. Hermes is the Feast. Hermes is the Youth. Hermes is the Shepherd. Hermes is the Flock. Hermes is the Gate. Hermes is the Road. Hermes is the Door. Hermes is the Merchant. Hermes is the Transition. Hermes is the Boundary. Hermes is the Herald. Hermes is the Peace. Hermes is the Stone. Hermes is the Guile. Hermes is the Laugh. Hermes is the Countryside. Hermes is the Market. Hermes is the Thief. Hermes is the Adjudicator. Hermes is the Trade. Hermes is the Persuasion. Hermes is the Journey. Hermes is the Guide. It is in these things that we see Hermes. May you see Him with your heart!

Diplomacy

Here’s an interesting piece spotted by a friend at the Brooklyn Museum. Depicted here is Hermes overseeing a commercial trade agreement between Britain and France (possibly referring to the Eden Agreement signed in 1786 which brought a brief end to the commercial conflict between the two countries at the time). Considering that Hermes is a God of Diplomacy and a God of Commerce, coupled with the fact that he is a harbinger of peace and a promoter of social discourse, this makes him the perfect deity to preside over the agreement in this work of art.