Antinous for Everybody

An Invocation to Antinous Bakkheios

O Antinous Dionysus!

Your votaries call out to you, for we are tired.

We are weary. We are thirsty. Our limbs are heavy.

Our hearts are heavier. Our spirits sink.

We labor and we struggle, we sleep

and wake unrefreshed to labor and struggle more.

O Antinous Dionysus, Antinous Epiphanes,

Come to us now! Come to us, Antinous Bakkheios!

We are parched and in need of refreshment.

Come and bring us the wine of your joy,

The joy of living, the zest for life!

Come and loosen our limbs for the dance,

Straighten our backs that have been bent in our labors,

Widen our shoulders that have hunched over computers,

Free our hips and our asses that our minds may follow.

Come and dance with us, bring us the blessing

Of fellowship, the mood of the party,

The lubrication of intoxication. Join hands with us

That we may join hands with one another

And celebrate all that is good, all beauty

And pleasure, tastes and scents, the body

And the earth, that which grows and dies

And lives again, the tenacious vine and

The sleek, ravenous animal in ourselves

And in the world, all of your blessings,

Antinous, Antinous Dionysus, Antinous Bakkheios!

IO EVOHE!

(Written for the Bakkheion in honor of Antinous at Many Gods West 2017, at the request of Jay Logan.)

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The Declaration of Antinous the Justified

I am Antinous. I am Osiris. I am Antinous the Justified.

 

I am the one who was lost and found himself.

I am the one who was drowned and breathed again.

I am the one whom Hapi took and Isis gave back again.

Where the red lotus bloomed, I have died,

And now I live again for ever.

 

I have not done the things which ought not to be done.

My heart has been weighed in the hall of Ma’at and pronounced pure.

Anubis has justified me. The forty-two judges have justified me.

Osiris has justified me and given me his crook and flail.

 

I have passed by the white cypress tree and the spring that flows beneath it.

Child of earth and heaven, I have drunk from the water of Memory,

And I know my true name, which is

ASKION KATASKION LIX TETRAX

DAMNAMENEUS AISIA ENDASION.

I have the favor of Persephone, the dread queen,

And with Hades’ blessing I walk in the groves of Elysium.

With the wings and the staff of Hermes,

The Messenger, the Guide of the Dead,

I come and go as I please.

 

Like a kid I have fallen into milk.

Like grapes I have been crushed and fermented and poured into wine.

Like a goat I have been torn apart and devoured

And discovered and assembled anew.

I have found myself and lost myself in the dance.

I bear the thyrsus of Dionysus and wear his ivy crown and leopard pelt.

 

I have ascended on high from the deepest depth.

I have vanquished the archons and mounted the heights

In the Boat of Millions of Years.

I have adorned Aquarius and the stars of the Eagle.

I have shone my light in healing and prophecy like Apollon.

He has given me his lyre that I may play for the Muses.

With Orion and his hounds I have hunted the heavens,

The earth, and the underworld. I am welcome in every place.

 

I have passed the seven gates of Ereshkigal

And returned to shine with the dawn.

I was in the tomb of Jesus and at the banquet of his consummation.

I have entered the domain of Hel and brought forth my bride Melinoe.

There is no place where I have not been welcomed

And no place where my star cannot guide.

I am Antinous Osiris the Justified, Antinous Hermes

The Guide, Antinous Dionysus and Antinous Apollon,

Child of earth and starry heaven,

Beautiful, just, benevolent.

(This was written for the rites held for Antinous at Many Gods West 2017, at the request of Jay Logan.)

Endings, beginnings, celebrations

Heigh-ho, your humble blogger here! It’s October and not nearly cool enough for my taste. I don’t do the Pumpkin Spice thing; however, I am enjoying a chai latte at my favorite coffee shop as I write these words.

It’s been a long summer, mostly barren of words. After loudly announcing (and insisting) that I would no longer be posting here, I decided to say fuckit and keep this blog going for specifically religious/devotional/magical topics, with my devotion to Antinous at the forefront. So expect to see more ritual and devotional poetry here in the coming days.

My new blog has gotten a new look and a new name: A Nest Made of Words. If it please you, follow that blog for, well, general blogging and links to stuff I’ve written at various locations on the web.

Speaking of which, a piece of fiction that debuted here became a Thing You Can Buy over the summer: A Distinguished Visitor from the North, distvisitorwithtitlehow Hel visited Hades while Persephone was away and what came of that. It features splendid cover art by Li Oesterberg, commissioned for the story. How amazing is this book cover? (And thanks to my friend Sarah Loch for her editing.)

So please buy my back at Amazon and read it and review and keep following this blog and follow A Nest Made of Words, too.

In other news, the end of October brings the Sacred Nights of Antinous, an ending of one year in sacred time and the beginning of another. In early November, I’ll be taking the longest airline flight of my life to meet some of my fellow Magistrates and Mystagogues of the Naos Antinoou in Washington. I am looking forward to this a lot, although I’m also a bit anxious about flying. (Just because the number of times I’ve been on an airplane can be counted on the fingers of one hand.)

I continue to work slowly but doggedly on the sequel to “A distinguished visitor” and will be posting chapters, as I complete them, on my Patreon, which gives you a reason to subscribe. (When I think of more reasons, I’ll let you know.) Lately it feels that my entire life is slow and dogged, with many delays and setbacks, increasing obstacles to doing the writing that I feel is my Work in this world, and increasing necessity for me to do that Work, in the face of fascism, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, queer phobia, white supremacy, climate change, and everything else, including my own depression and anxiety. I have never had any real doubt that writing is my Work, and it is with that conviction that I continue to blog, dear readers. May my Work be of benefit to you and of service to my gods.

Life is a work in progress

Regular readers of this blog might notice that not much has been going on here since the winter holy days and the end of last year. 2016 was difficult for me as for a lot of people, on so many levels, most of which I would much prefer not to discuss in a public venue.

However, very discerning readers, or at least those who populate Facebook and Tumblr, might have noticed that my writing has been appearing elsewhere. Yes, I started a new blog–again.

Jesus, Antinous, Julian of Norwich, Medicine Buddha, Captain America, and Me, a Writer is, as the name implies, a blog to house and to promote all of my writing, whether fiction, poetry, or essays, whether the topic is Christian or pagan or Buddhist, original fiction or fan fiction, politics (not very often) or culture (pop and otherwise), or birds (and their cuteness).

This blog, for now, will remain live and accessible but not be updated. My goal is that eventually most or all of its content will be migrated elsewhere. I hope that all of the lovely people who have been following my writing here will continue to follow me at the new blog and consider bestowing a bit of financial support for my work.

Life is a work in progress. The last four years have been very good ones for me as a writer. The work goes forward. Please join me.

POEM: The Eagle’s Star

Antinous rises tonight
Tonight he bestrides the constellations,
bridging Aquarius and Aquila
Heralded by Muses and poets,
he ascends the heavens
to claim the Boat of Millions of Years
The archons of the underworld are defeated
Their perversions no match for his terrible beauty
Fear and hatred, greed and lust
flee from the light of his countenance
Hail, Antinous! Star of beauty in the night sky!
Hail, Antinous! Navigator of the celestial Barque!
Hail, Antinous! You are the journey, you are the guide,
you yourself are the destination!
Hail, Antinous! The beautiful boy rises in the east!

POEM: To Tolkien on his birthday

You wandered among the trees, pipe gripped
between your teeth, dreaming of elder days,
when you might have been a poet singing
in a firelit hall. Instead you wandered among
the trees and told your tales to friends in pubs
and wandered back to dreary students
grubbing at the ancient roots of language.
Every language a mythology, every mythology
a universe: Your languages, your mythology,
your universe endure, your memory enshrined
along with Homer, Virgil, Dante, Amergin
and Taliesin and the lost poets of the North,
Ent-namer, mythmaker, word-lover, Elf-friend.

The reason for the season

So many holy days in so many traditions cluster around the point of the winter solstice. Jesus shares his birthday with Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Son. Yuletide gave us decorated trees, flaming logs, and a night-riding gift-giver in furs who might be Odin. Hanukkah, as one Tumblr user wittily put it, celebrates an actual war on Hanukkah–the Jews won. Kwanzaa, too, has the symbolism of abundant light and abundant food.

The days will get longer now, but the weather will only get colder. In my neck of the woods, it might well be the spring equinox, another cluster point for feasts, before it truly starts to warm up. I’m not looking forward to standing at the bus stop on weekday afternoons, in the dark, perhaps in ankle-deep or deeper snow.

Why are we celebrating right now when things are only going to get worse? I think I figured it out. A Jewish friend of mine posted Christmas greetings to Christian friends on Facebook, with a picture of herself wearing antlers. I commented, “Hospitality: The real reason for the season,” and then I thought, Holy shit, it’s time for a blog post.

Hospitality. It’s cold and it’s dark, and it’s going to get brighter yet colder. The ground will be hard and the winds will cut. So we create light and color with our decorations, we create warmth with Yule logs and fires lit and ovens baking warm food. We have a surplus and so we share it. We invite friends and family over, make donations and volunteer to help strangers. We do these things, ultimately, because it’s cold and it’s dark and we’re not going to make it through alone. We share hospitality because we need it.

I’m divorced and I’m alone this Christmas morning, except for my bird, who appreciates his millet treat even if he doesn’t understand why he’s getting it. This is not my first Christmas on my own, but I’m seeing a lot of my friends who are isolated and suffering right now. I did have a party invitation I was eager to accept, but unfortunately, I picked up a cold at my workplace and decided not to go share it with my friends and their friends.

If you are enjoying a holiday with friends and family, food and gifts, lights and warmth today, take a moment to think of friends who might be alone. Call them, text them, invite them in. Show hospitality, because that, not axial tilt nor any one holy day, is the real reason for the season.

Saturnalia: To the Mothers

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Mother is a place to rest, a warmth, a tuneless song.
Mother is a voice that cuts.
Mother is a lady in a blue veil, a blue robe.
Mother is a lady with a baby in her arms.
Mother is a grandmother fixing hot tea and cold cereal on a school morning
Mother is a grandmother putting my clothes near the radiator
Mother is a woman who sleeps late while I rise early
Mother is a woman who smokes and drinks coffee
Mother is a May Day procession dressed in white
Mother is an ivory statue of the Virgin and Child with a Gothic sway
Mother is a possibly heretical vierge ouvrante
Mother is the goddess Isis with baby Horus on her lap
Mother is an icon with stars on the Virgin’s brow and shoulders
Mother is a Middle Eastern woman wrapped in layers of veils and shawls
carrying her child away from danger, shielding it with her body
Mother is my mother’s mother’s mother, who died when I was one
Mother is my mother’s father’s mother, was her name Louisa?
Mother is my father’s mother Grace, his adoptive mother,
and his mother Clara, his birth mother, whose last name was Gunsales
Mother is the woman who bore my husband a child
who bore her second husband a child
Mother is my sister, who bore my niece
Mother is my niece, who has borne a son
Mother is a link in a chain, a cell in the umbilical cord
Mother is the land I walk on, the nourishing earth, the turning planet
Mother is the night sky, spangled with stars
the brightness of the stars
and the darkness between
the beginning
and the end

POEM: A hymn for the winter solstice

The longest night, the shortest day
Each year it comes and goes its way
The bleak midwinter blest with feasts
To joy the greatest and the least

The newborn light becomes a boy
His mother’s pride, the whole world’s joy
The gods immortal come to earth
In mortal flesh for mortal mirth

Here Jesus sleeps with ox and ass
As one by one the shepherds pass
To worship him the angels sang
On whom the coming centuries hang

Antinous puts on the crown
That Dionysus handed down
Of ivy, grape, and fragrant pine
And bids us to the feast with wine

While Hercules, the victor strong,
Cries, “Io, Io!” with the throng
And Angerona has the right
To keep us silent for a night

So let us keep our flames alight
Through shortest day and longest night
And hold each other, heart and hand,
Till spring spreads forth throughout the land.

Saturnalia II: Eponalia

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All in grey my love comes riding
Lady goddess, mare and queen
Bird and hound and hare and horses
In her sacred train are seen

Now a woman sadly weeping
Now a stamping heated mare
Life and death are in her keeping
Sack and keys are in her care

Grain she gives to those who hunger
Guidance gives to those who stray
Wise are those who fear her anger
Happy those who bid her stay

Ave, Epona Regina
Rigantona, Mari Llwyd,
Macha, Demeter Despoina,
May we all your wrath avoid

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