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Kinda, sorta, Friends Only

Barney Hostage
Just a post to let you know that most of this journal is Friends Only. Some of it is not, and there are enough open posts for you to know that the journal is active. However, the majority of the posts are f-locked.

If you're interested, drop a note here and we can talk about adding you. I don't have a problem with most folks, so in most instances it won't be a problem. If you do add me and I don't know you, or you've come out of nowhere, I'm not likely to add you back.

So, leave me a post here and we can talk.

Editor, Megaloi Theoi, a devotional to the Dioskouroi.

Please consider a submission to the devotional!

E-mail: dioscuridevotional@gmail.com

More information at: http://www.neosalexandria.org/dioskouroi_devotional.htm

Dionysos
I posted this on Facebook but felt that I should post it here as well.
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Some of you already know this; I like complexity and layers of meaning. When I do a big ritual, you KNOW it's a big one because of the multiple steps and activities that are done. There's a method to this madness, as it were. What I've found over time is that a full-on ritual and festival tends to reveal multiple aspects of deity and divine that may not be immediately obvious. I find that the complexity reveals just a bit more about the Divine than we might otherwise sense with our five senses, and helps to unravel the mysteries of our lives and our interactions. Sometimes I plan something that literally takes years to do. At other times I throw something together fairly quickly, but still with complexity. Such was today.



I struck me months ago that I should walk the labyrinth at the dawn today. Making this realization in January is sort of a wing and a prayer moment. Who knows what the weather will be like? Odds are the weather will be crappy, but you can hope and see what happens. As it was today, it was cloudy, but very warm and a bit moist, so conditions were very good.



This is a day that I consider Persephone to return from the Underworld, leaving her beloved husband behind to rejoin her rejoicing mother Demeter. Demeter has been eagerly anticipating the return this year, bathing us in warmth throughout Winter and putting on a grand show of flowers and buds for the return. The celebration of Her return will be more tonight. This morning was a bit different, with the morning dedicated to the Daughter of the Sun, walking in the lair of the Mistress of the Labyrinth. In the Greek, these are (to me) Helen and Ariadne. The morning was dedicated mostly to Helen.



This is where the complexity begins. Why today, you might ask, should I be honoring the Daughter of the Sun? I often quote M.L. West's book "Indo-European Poetry and Myth" for a variety of reasons, and will do so here. At page 225 of the book, West is discussing "the Dawn goddess and the spring festival" and notes that many of the various Indo-European branches had festivals to celebrate Spring. On page 226 he says "We have seen that the practice of swinging was characteristic of these solar festivals, and that it was a feature of the Greek springtime festival known as the Aiorai, 'Swings.' According to the aetiological myth, girls swung from trees because one Erigone had hanged herself from a tree. We have testimony that from Aristotle (fr. 515) that women sang a traditional song about her at the Aiorai. Her hanging became attached to the story of Ikarios, the man who brought viticulture to Attica, and she was made his daughter. But her name is simply a variant of Erigeneia 'Early-born,' the familiar title of the Dawn goddess. Her hanging was probably invented as the mythical counterpart of a custom of hanging images in trees, and it was then used to explain the swinging as well."



I'll note here that the Aiorai festival has been attached to Anthesteria, THE major festival for Dionysos. The wife of Dionysos is Ariadne, from Theseus and the Minotaur fame, and almost certainly the Mistress of the Labyrinth.



West, somewhat famously, equates Helen as the Daughter of the Sun, the goddess of the Dawn. In this book he does so starting on page 230 and goes on for some time describing her many attributes and how they relate to the Dawn or to solar attributes in general. One thing that he notes is that she was born from an egg.



So what of the ritual aspects? West notes on page 235 that, in the Baltic tradition (specifically Latvian), the wedding of the Daughter of the Sun is celebrated by the Sons of God (the Divine Twins) who decorate the trees with green cloth, gold rings, and other ornaments. West goes on to say "This reflects the practice, widely attested across northern and eastern Europe, of decorating the May-tree with coloured ribbons, garlands, eggshells, and trinkets at the beginning of Summer - just when, as we have seen, the wedding of the Daughter of the Sun was supposed to take place." West goes on to describe a hypothetical dancing between young men and women, which would indicate a rite of passage and preparation for marriage, evidence of which I've seen in Dorian Greek festivals as well. As West notes, Helen's wedding was celebrated at Sparta, with a company of girls dancing and singing before dawn, hanging garlands on Helen's holy plane-tree, and pouring olive oil on the ground at the foot of the tree. West also notes the story in Rhodes of Helen being seized by a group of women and being hanged from a tree, and that the inhabitants created a shrine of Helena Dendritis, or Helen of the Tree. Finally, West notes (page 236) that another common decoration of the May-tree was of eggs or painted eggshells. He also stated that eggs "make an obvious symbol of rebirth or of the reborn sun."



I could write a lot more, but this should be sufficient. Essentially, from the Vernal equinox (Ostara, the start of Spring) through to the Summer Solstice (Litha) and including the May festival (Beltaine), there are celebrations of the Sun's return, and the celebrations seem to include honoring the Daughter of the Sun. In some ways this marriage motif seems to be similar to, if not the same as, the God and Goddess marriage that we see in modern neo-paganism, celebrated on Beltaine. Most of us are familiar with the egg associations of Easter; this may be a deeper explanation as to why we have these. Anthesteria (which occurs either in February or March), to me, is the starting point for all of this activity, and it will go until Midsummer.



So, what would be good activities to do today? It seemed to me that hanging eggs from a plane tree (which is a Sycamore tree) would be good, and that these should be red if possible (as this is one of the colors of the Dawn, and also of the Dioskouroi). A libation of olive oil is in order, as are prayers. A walk in the labyrinth at the Dawn, before the rising of the Sun, also seemed to be a good idea.



So I did all of these. I prepared the plastic eggs last night, and hung them on one of my Sycamore trees this morning in the darkness. I did not pour the libation, but I will later tonight. I then took honey and another egg with me to the labyrinth. It was cloudy, but there was a break in the clouds on the far eastern horizon, and the red and gold shone through. I knew She would greet me. I made my honey offering and began my walk. When I reached the center I placed the egg there and made prayers. After circling the center three times clockwise, three times counterclockwise, I then left. Interestingly, the walk itself didn't seem to hold as much for me until I was on the way out. About 1/4 of the way out, it seemed that a burden was lifted from my shoulders. By the time I left I was smiling more. Nothing dramatic, no huge messages this time, just a lighter feeling. Good stuff.



Tonight will bring prayers before the four altars (Dioskouroi, Helen, Ariadne, and Dionysos) and offerings before the plane tree, before I make new offerings and prayers to Persephone to celebrate Her return. There is a connection here as well but I won't delve into that here. Suffice it to say that the Maidens of Spring are here, and the madness of Springtime Love is upon us. May it bless you all in the coming year.

Editor, Megaloi Theoi, a devotional to the Dioskouroi.

Please consider a submission to the devotional!

E-mail: dioscuridevotional@gmail.com

More information at: http://www.neosalexandria.org/dioskouroi_devotional.htm

Stargate Universe and Alexi Murdoch

Buh?
So I walked downstairs over the weekend and found my wife watching Stargate Universe. It was bland, not horrible but not overly inspiring. In fact the plot was the same worn-out plot I've seen many, many times now. So, the show wasn't particularly interesting.

What I did find interesting was the background music, which was "All of My Days" by Alexi Murdoch. I've seen all of two shows of SGU, and both times they've played Alexi Murdoch songs. I have the album, have had it for a couple of years and enjoy it, but it's WAAAY underground. I find it funny that the show has picked up on the songs and the artist.

At least there's one good thing about the show.

Editor, Megaloi Theoi, a devotional to the Dioskouroi.

Please consider a submission to the devotional!

E-mail: dioscuridevotional@gmail.com

More information at: http://www.neosalexandria.org/dioskouroi_devotional.htm

Solid Weekend

Happy
I've been around for 40+ Aprils now. It's been a long time since Easter was this early and the weather was this nice. Seriously, after having 4 feet of snow in one weekend, and more during the Winter, this is really a wonderful present to have for the Spring.

There was nothing earth-shattering done this weekend, but it was still good. Friday was drumming which is always nice. Saturday I got up after some good sleep and did various errands around the house, such as some cleaning in the kitchen and such. Later I went out and picked up some lumber and hardware, dropped off a rug to be cleaned and got a new rug pad, and some other stuff. We replaced the so-so pad under the rug in the living room and that's made a nice difference. On Sunday I took the large 6x6 pieces that I got and finally began making the flower beds to the west of the deck. I need to create tiers but I've gotten off to a good start. I also put some dirt down in some low places, sprayed weeds, and did some general cleanup in some of the gardens.

Past that we sat outside both nights and had dinner. The weather is perfect right now and not a lot of bugs, so sitting out on the deck and enjoying the fading light of the day is a special treat. It's also been wonderful to have the windows open and have the air circulating, while at the same time not having to worry about traffic noise waking us up. Other than battling the carpenter bees trying to drill into the deck it was a great afternoon yesterday to be outside. If only all weekends were that nice.

Editor, Megaloi Theoi, a devotional to the Dioskouroi.

Please consider a submission to the devotional!

E-mail: dioscuridevotional@gmail.com

More information at: http://www.neosalexandria.org/dioskouroi_devotional.htm

Salvador Dali and the Dioskouroi

Hellenismos
The deeper I delve, the more mind-boggling it becomes. Dali apparently has a number of connections to the Dioskouroi. He painted the scene of Leda and the Swan, with the painting titled Leda Atomica. The model used in this painting was his wife Gala. Later he began equating himself with Pollux, his dead brother with Castor, and his wife Gala with Helen.

Here's a piece of interest from this article: http://www.all-art.org/art_20th_century/dali-6.html

"From now on, Dali lived with two idees fixes: that of the Dioscuri, and that of cybernetic science. His mind was busy looking for correlations between the two areas. One of the preliminary sketches for The Battle of Tetuan bears the dedication, "For Helen from her Dioscuri". Dali was excited to discover that the word "cybernetic" was etymologically derived from the Greek "kybernetes", a steersman or pilot. For Plato, the pilot's task was clear. The captain chose a harbour into which the craft was to be sailed. The helmsman adjusted the rudder in order to steer the vessel in the required direction. And the pilot ensured that the helmsman was continually aware how to use his rudder in order to reach the harbour. In this joint effort, the captain took the decision on a goal, the helmsman steered, and the pilot gave guidance. The pilot, in other words, is cybernetic in terms of his activity; and this derivation and meaning of the word struck Dali powerfully, since he saw himself as the pilot of his own life. But he went a step further and found a way of associating this with his other current obsession, with the Dioscuri. Was it not the task of Castor and Pollux, in antiquity, to guide ships ? Having made this connection, Dali averred that, with the remote guidance of the Dioscuri, he was piloting the boat of their life, with Gala's hand firmly on the rudder."

Neo-pagans will find this of even more interest; his painting of Leda Atomica is based on something called the "divine proportion." According to the wikipedia article on this, Leda and the swan are set in a pentagon inside which has been inserted a five-point star of which Dalí made several sketches. The five points of the star symbolize the seeds of perfection: love, order, light (truth), willpower and word (action).

Here's a picture of the painting in question: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Leda_atomica.jpg

Stuff like this just blows me away.

I would love to have someone out there work with me and compile a list of modern influences by the Dioskouroi for the devotional. I'd be happy to help but I don't want to write all of the articles for the devotional. Regardless I really do love finding these kinds of nuggets, which show that the gods are far from gone in our lives.

Editor, Megaloi Theoi, a devotional to the Dioskouroi.

Please consider a submission to the devotional!

E-mail: dioscuridevotional@gmail.com

More information at: http://www.neosalexandria.org/dioskouroi_devotional.htm

Climate change article

Oak Leaf (Zeus)
A nice article from The Economist, and I really like the range of comments that follows it.

http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=15720419&source=hptextfeature

Editor, Megaloi Theoi, a devotional to the Dioskouroi.

Please consider a submission to the devotional!

E-mail: dioscuridevotional@gmail.com

More information at: http://www.neosalexandria.org/dioskouroi_devotional.htm

Ikariam

Barney Hostage
It appears that Hathor and I have our accounts banned (temporarily with any luck) due to fleet contact. We've shared a home computer since April 2008 and I notified the game administrators at the time. I guess the troop movements due to the recent problems up north caused an issue. Hopefully it will be resolved soon.

Editor, Megaloi Theoi, a devotional to the Dioskouroi.

Please consider a submission to the devotional!

E-mail: dioscuridevotional@gmail.com

More information at: http://www.neosalexandria.org/dioskouroi_devotional.htm

The Leukippides

Hellenismos
In an effort to generate more interest in the Dioskouroi devotional, I've copied a portion of Jennifer Larson's "Greek Heroine Cults" with respect to the Leukippides, the wives of the Dioskouroi (pages 64-69 of the book). This is a long entry but has a lot of information in it. Besides the Leukippides and the Dioskouroi, there are discussions and mentions the fathers (Leukippos and Tyndarius), their sons, Leda, Helen, Dionysos, the Asvins, Asklepios, and others. Worth a read.

Reduced to save LJ readers not interested in thisCollapse )


Editor, Megaloi Theoi, a devotional to the Dioskouroi.

Please consider a submission to the devotional!

E-mail: dioscuridevotional@gmail.com

More information at: http://www.neosalexandria.org/dioskouroi_devotional.htm

Editor, Megaloi Theoi, a devotional to the Dioskouroi.

Please consider a submission to the devotional!

E-mail: dioscuridevotional@gmail.com

More information at: http://www.neosalexandria.org/dioskouroi_devotional.htm

Agora petition in Italy

Ares
Khairete,

In soliciting submissions for the Dioskouroi devotional, I received a request for assistance from someone in Italy. Apparently, distributors in Italy are reluctant to pick up this film, with speculation being that the Catholic Church is also opposed.

There is an on-line petition to encourage Italian distribution services to pick up the movie and bring it to Italy. I'm simply passing along the link to this. I assume Italian citizens are best to sign it but anyone may do so. There is a link to a Facebook group at the bottom:

http://www.petitiononline.com/agorait/petition.html

Editor, Megaloi Theoi, a devotional to the Dioskouroi.

Please consider a submission to the devotional!

E-mail: dioscuridevotional@gmail.com

More information at: http://www.neosalexandria.org/dioskouroi_devotional.htm

Hard drive woes

Sad
I've apparently lost a hard drive that had a lot of data on it. The shop where it is now says they can't seem to recover anything, can't access it, and are recommending a data recovery shop. Any thoughts on what I might be able to do to get it to work? The drive is passive and just couldn't be accessed one day. :(

Editor, Megaloi Theoi, a devotional to the Dioskouroi.

Please consider a submission to the devotional!

E-mail: dioscuridevotional@gmail.com

More information at: http://www.neosalexandria.org/dioskouroi_devotional.htm

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