Mark

Funny thing about gods, the way they get a point across.  When I was waiting to learn if I would become a writer for The Wild Hunt last summer, I made a deal with Athena: help make this happen, and I’d knit her a scarf.  Knitting, it turns out, is a bit of a bitch for those of us who didn’t start before we needed reading glasses, and even a scarf has been hard enough that I’m nowhere near done with that offering yet.

  

This month for Noumenia, I performed divination to see if any particular deity is planning to take an especial interest in me this month.  As pictured, I drew M, mu, to wit:  “It is necessary to labor {Mokhtheô}, but the change will be admirable.”

I really don’t know how divination works for other people, but most of the time these phrases don’t make a whole lot of sense in isolation.  There needs to be some discernment, some sign or inclination that brings it together.  In this case, not sure what god might be indicated, I tried the Quaker practice of letting names rise.  Hephaestus didn’t seem likely as he watched over this past month, but labor made me consider him.  Hermes occurred to me, but also didn’t seem quite right.  But when I thought of Athena, I got that thrum in my head which I’ve come to recognize as positive, and I knew she wanted me to finish that scarf.

Later on in the day, I returned a library book I’d ordered by mistake.  I wanted the next Percy Jackson book, and got the two series mixed up, so I had a book I’d already read instead of the proper one.  I didn’t even know the name of the book I needed, but I checked the library shelf and there it was:

The Mark of Athena.

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My dead are calling

It’s been going on as long as I’ve been celebrating the Deipnon, at least, so that’s got to be four years or so, because part of my practice is to make an offering to my ancestors on that day.  What began as a simple-but-expensive libation (olive oil and Scotch) now includes offering an IRA contribution to my ancestors, but the feeling has grown that I need to honor my ancestors more.  When Leonard Nimoy died, unlike when any other actor I’ve heard of has passed, I felt I should do more to venerate him.  Moreover, it seemed like every class I attended at Between the Sacred Space-Worlds included some message for me about ancestor worship.

Okay, I get it.

Being a money worker, seeing what Canadians are doing to their fivers pretty much smacked me over the head with it:  you are right to honor the dead, the heroic dead, the ancestors of blood and the ancestors who otherwise shaped you. So, I bought a book and cleared off a space for a shrine. Or for the cats, if I’m not careful.

Consider entering the Agon….

If ever a post deserved a signal boost…

Gangleri's Grove

Don’t forget about the March Agon for Minerva and Apollon, folks. There are prizes (and there will be a first and second prize for Minerva and a first and second prize for Apollon). If you have a devotion to either of these Deities, please consider submitting a poem or prayer, essay, recipe, or piece of art. Deadline is 9pm EST March 31.

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With apologies to my sources

A large number of people told me what they think of the Percy Jackson books, and when I wrote my article I didn’t use almost any of it.  I found myself fascinated by the kids’ perspective, which is so often minimized in every situation, and made it all about them.  In fact, I wish I’d been able to find more kids to talk to.

For what it’s worth, despite there being a couple of really angry posts about these books, I found fewer sincerely negative critiques by adults than I found children to interview.  Most of the blog posts I located talked about how “lots of people dislike” these books, and then gave mostly favorable reviews.  The people I interviewed were mostly the same:  they would dislike one aspect or another, such as the depiction of a particular deity (Dionysos and Persephone, most frequently), or dissatisfaction with liberties the author took with one or another well-known myth, but that’s it.  And in my interviews, no one brought up the impact of these books on neurotypical people, or the completely dismissive way that Rick Riordan treats worship of the gods (which are certainly legitimate concerns), but I attribute that lack to ignorance about those issues among the people I spoke with.

But there’s a whole new Norse series starting soon, so these questions will surely surface again.