For Sannion

. . . who lamented his perceived fundraising failure:  nice job batting cleanup.

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I’m a failure

A failure? Hardly. Sannion has been pumping out hymns, tales, and awesome research while acting as a one-man polytheist magnet. He can’t be the only one pulling, though.

Who among my sparse readership is willing to give five dollars to one of these people? Can you give ten? Even five cents matters, because I will work whatever prosperity magic I can to multiply it.

Tick tock, tick tock. Share far and wide tonight and perhaps something amazing will happen by tomorrow.

Where I come from

Irene T (Levouni) Psaki, d. 1911

Irene T (Levouni) Psaki, d. 1911

This time of year is when I think most about my ancestors, and the thoughts go deeper with each successive year.  Today I accompanied my mother on her annual pilgrimage to visit my father’s grave.  It’s a good time for this visit:  the flags which were placed on each grave for Memorial Day are still up for a few more days, a beautiful display which reminds me of something my mother lived:  every time he went on a mission, it was possible that the world would end before he could get back home.  Dad’s birthday is the first of June, and that date is also the one I mark as his last, although I wasn’t able to free his body from the machines for more than two weeks.

This year, the day we chose was gobsmacking extra.  It’s the Deipnon, the day to honor Hekate and the ancestors.  I was mindful of that as we arrived at the cemetery, but then Mom mentioned in passing that it was also the 40th anniversary of her own father’s death.  Grampy, as I knew him for the short while that I did, was my only Greek grandparent.  His was the death that made me aware that such a thing as death even existed.

My grandfather was born in Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1890, and lived there long enough to read and write before coming to America and having to start the process all over again.  No doubt that’s why his handwriting was atrocious, leading inevitably to him becoming a doctor.  He fought in both world wars; my mother’s surprisingly robust photo archives include a picture of him mounted on a horse in his Army uniform.

I know this because shortly after my own father’s death, a cousin sent me copies of some fairly extensive genealogical research she had pieced together.  Although I knew it was interesting, I mostly only glanced at it until today, when I pulled it out to learn the name of my Greek great-grandmother.  Mom always pulls out a few more old pictures each time I visit, and this portrait of Irene Psiakis (changed to Psaki on Ellis Island, because someone thought it was less confusing) was among today’s treasures.  According to the letters included in the research, this lovely mother of ten danced with Prince Edward VII, wearing a dress made by thirty women.

My ancestors endured tragedies (two of those children died before they were two years old), braved a long ocean voyage for the promise of a better life, and even put that life in peril for the sake of that new land.  Who I am is inextricably tied to who they were, they and all those who came before them.

I am starting to get a glimmer of a hint of an inkling about why venerating my ancestors matters.

What methods does your tradition employ for protection and the warding off of malign influences?

I rightly should tag this “good question,” which sounds more intelligent than, “I haven’t got a clue.”  Perhaps I will find the time to actually find an answer at the Polytheist Leadership Conference.

My ignorance stems from a mindset which predates my Hellenic practice.  Magic has effects which reach further than I can foresee, which has generally kept me from using much of it over the years.  Even seemingly positive actions like warding and protection have the potential to cause problems down the road, and I’ve cultivated a very successful and thoroughly foolish way to get better results by not using magic for that kind of stuff pretty much ever.

And no, I ain’t gonna write down how.  Nyah.

This post is part of a series of devotional questions for polytheists which were developed by Galina Krasskova.

Idea stolen: donation challenge for the Polytheist Leadership Conference

There’s a few people trying to get to the Polytheist Leadership Conference this summer, and need help because they don’t live so close that they could run home to feed the cats, like I can.  I’m excited that I can get to this conference and also have a little extra to assist, but after seeing Ruadhán McElroy’s donation challenge, I realized I can do more, at least if I can leverage my readers just a teensy bit, and motivate you to help.

The deadline for registration is June 1.  Until that time, for every dollar Dwolla divination I do, I will donate two dollars to help get a polytheist to this conference.  I am a thrifty Pagan, so this is something I can do even if the demand is high.  Please make this as challenging as you possibly can for me.

Misogyny In Modern Hellenismos

Given the historical context in which Hellenismos developed, it really should come as no surprise that misogyny is to this religion what racism is to Heathenry. (We have racists, too, but they seem to be shut down in short order.) Women had very little to do with public life in ancient Hellas, and there was no word for “religion” in the language, so conflating religion and culture is bound to happen, resulting in nasty-yet-revealing exchanges like this one.

Pro tip: if you zoom in, you’ll see that the blacked out names aren’t so blacked out as they seem. Personally, I wish I knew who The Man was so I could give him kudos, and who Administrator T.J. is because I have a sinking feeling that I do indeed know, and I am hoping that I am wrong.

The Heart of the Matter

Misogyny: Hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.

It all started with a photo posted in a public Facebook Hellenic Polytheist group of a former playmate/porn star laying back, spread eagle, showing off her personal grooming preference. All in praise of Aphrodite.

The photograph was immediately reported to Facebook for its pornographic content and was deleted, and then, the flood gates of misogyny came pouring out.

In that one day, in that one group, there were four posts about women’s “bush”. Four posts talking about the aesthetics of a woman shaving or “going natural”.

Four posts, people.

Four posts.

Three of the four posts were headlined with a photo of a woman’s “bush”.  Two of them were of ancient statues with no other description of the photo other than “bush”.

I commented in response to one of these photos and this is what ensued:

convo1collage

Misogyny: Hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.

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Can You Help?

Spare a buck or three to help a brilliant man shine?

Paganarch

As you may already know, I’ll be giving a presentation at the Polytheist Leadership Conference in New York in July.  That is, if I get enough money to go.

I loathe asking for money.  Unfortunately, I don’t have another option in this case.

I’m trying to raise a minimum of 750 dollars to pay for travel and lodging.  Anything beyond that will mean I won’t have to couch surf too long afterwards, as I’ll likely have to quit my job and place in Eugene in order to go.  It means that much to me, yeah.

Donations of 100 or more have a perk: I’ll write you something.

And if you can’t donate, can you help me get the word out? Reposts/reblogs are as appreciated as donations.

Details are here

Thank you, kind folks.

Be well!

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