I was thrilled to write yesterday’s story on how Pagans raise money using the cool tools available nowadays. However, one possible fundraising branch continues to frustrate me, that of government employee giving programs.
One of my several income streams derives from working within a state campaign, which gives me enough inside knowledge to write about it, but there’s no good place to find links to all of these programs. Even the link I provided is a couple of years out of date, and while some of those links may actually be valid, they may only be active during the application period, and there’s no simple way to discover those windows.
While it’s not something I can likely get done quickly, I’m putting “make and maintain a list of government charity campaign sites” on my own list of things to do.
One of the continuing benefits of writing hymns to Poseidon is that it got Naiadis of Strip Me Back To The Bone to do the same. She’s also writing Poseidon fiction this month, so please check out her blog if you haven’t.
The gifts of the seas, which have fueled economies for as long as we’ve lived by the seas. — from Poseidon of the Mysteries
That line caught my eye because my exploration of money is driven in part by the fact that this force upon which our societies are built obeys rules that we don’t begin to understand, because we think we made them all up.
Yes, Poseidon holds mysteries. I don’t know if they were celebrated in the past, but the time to do so is fast coming upon us.
Today sees the publication of the most difficult piece I have written to date for The Wild Hunt, about Pagans and animal sacrifice. It was difficult because this is an issue that has a lot of passion underlying it, and I had to capture what others know and feel without tainting it with my own views.
I love animals. I’ve had pets in my life for all of my life. Pets, not livestock. I didn’t grow up on a farm, I grew up in a place where meat appeared to grow in styrofoam packets. My exposure to agricultural life came from watching the Dukes of Hazzard and playing with my Fisher Price farm. When I finally encountered animals larger than my dog, it was and still is with fearful wonder. Even a gentle giant can cause great harm if spooked, and I do not know these creatures like I do my cats, whom I still inadvertently scare sometimes.
What I am is a typical American, disconnected from the food chain and unlikely to think about the mountain of death which sustains my life — every life. Life feeds on life. Learning about the methods and reasons behind sacrifice was fascinating. I considered asking if I could observe such a rite, but in the end I decided I’m not ready to do that. It would change me, in ways I’d rather not think about, or imagine.
To write about such a topic is wonderful — I get to learn new things! — and grueling. This subject is dear because life is dear. Did I come off like I was condemning sacrifice? Was I a cheerleader? If I struck the right balance, it will either further healthy debate, or lead both sides to condemn me as favoring the other.
One of the unexpected benefits of writing hymns to Poseidon is that it got Naiadis of Strip Me Back To The Bone to do the same. Her hymn to Poseidon of the Swaddling is particularly meaningful to me right now, because this series of offerings came about because of some long-simmering anger I hold/held/may yet hold towards Poseidon, and it’s nice to think of who he was, when.
So far, I’ve only offered hymns to epithets that have been known for a good long time. That may change.
This morning I was fortunate enough to discover the Aspis of Ares, an online votive offering to the god of war. Ares is the god who helped me find Hellenismos (a story I may recount fully at some point), and I am no stranger to online votive offerings, so this blog is likely to become one of my favorites as I deepen my understanding of this powerful-yet-terrifying god.
I don’t believe that “terrifying” is an epithet which was used for Ares in the Hellenic period, but it certainly fits my initial relationship with aggression and my perceptions of the war god. He is so much more than mere brute force, though, and I am most pleased that Pete has made this offering which shows the many aspects of Ares.