A world full of gods

20180308_101622Vesta’s fire burns on my stove and in the candles on my shrine. She consumes the incense I kindle and crackles through wires as electricity to power lamps, laptops, and everything else.

Apollo gives music, healing, poetry, prophecy, all of which I need. He and Diana shed light by day and by night. Venus and her court bless me with birds and flowers as well as love and desire. Mercury blesses writers as well as merchants and thieves, protects me when I catch public transit or walk across the freight train tracks.

Who better than Minerva to help a single woman further her career, especially in an intellectual field? To whom shall I appeal for just government if not Jupiter, king of the gods? Mars is a protector of boundaries and of the fields we cultivate, not merely a god of war. Juno’s image burns within me, my sacred female sovereignty.

The blessings of Ceres put food on my table. Bacchus entertains me not merely in every glass of wine but in every movie and television show, transforming reality and slipping me meaning and wisdom along with pleasure and diversion. Neptune and Portunus are needed to bless our rivers and our harbor, a center of tourism and of trade. Without Vulcan, would I have a laptop, a tablet, and a smartphone? I’m not an artificer, but I need the products of craft and manufacture. With Janus at the door, I sleep safely at night.

Antinous, my beloved boy, god of my heart, carries the gifts of Apollo, Dionysus, and Hermes, as well as of Osiris, and opens the door to all the gods. He is the center around which my sense of the numinous is organized, the heart of the mandala.

There is no god that is not part of my life. They are everywhere. I may not go into the wilderness, but I know that Diana and Faunus are there, just as Mercury and Apollo, Minerva and Venus are not far away in the city. Even a vacant lot overgrown with weeds can be a glimpse of Faunus; Diana’s deer are hiding in patches of woods just off the light rail’s route. Flora blesses the carefully tended yards and gardens no matter how run-down a neighborhood may be.

Other gods are no less real for my not worshipping them. They, too, are present even if I don’t notice them.¬† It doesn’t seem like mysticism, or magic, or anything but reality. The gods and my relationships with them are woven through my life, my ordinary life. I pay attention to them, and they pay attention to me. Their reality affirms my reality; their sacredness affirms my sacredness. After all, some gods become humans, and a good many humans have become gods….

Advertisements

Sacred Nights: Osiris and Antinous

egyptian-god-osiris-greenskin

POEM: The Green Man

I am Osiris. I am the Green Man.

I was the first Green Man, Asar, Au Sar, Wesir.

Green like the papyrus growing by the Nile.

Green like the barley growing in the fields.

Green like the leaves that support the sweet lotus.

Sometimes I am black like the soil,

The rich fertile flooded soil of Kemet, eponymous soil.

I am the Green Man of the Black Land.

The first to die becomes the god of the dead.

That is I. First to know death, first to go west,

Killed by my brother, sought by my sisters,

Resurrected by my wife. She fashioned the part

That was missing. I am moonlight and moondark,

Black earth and green plant, a missing phallus

And an upright wand. Come to me, Antinous,

Child of Bithynia, beloved of Pharaoh,

And I will teach you how to be a god.

Sacred Nights: Foundation Day 2016

Today he is a hero who has walked with knowledge into the underworld.

Today he is a daimon who quickens the earth to life and causes the river to rise and fructify the land.

Today he is a god, one with Osiris, enthroned with the gods of Egypt.

Today the gods of Kemet, Hellas, and Rome welcome him into their company, as his mortal remains are preserved with the honors once bestowed only on kings.

He is Antinous of Bithynia, son of Mantinoe, beloved of Hadrian. Dua Antnus! Khaire Antinoos! Ave Antinous! Hail, beautiful god! The Naos Antinoou is established in your honor.

antinous_osiris_louvre_2

Sacred Nights: Osiris and Antinous

If I could stand on the banks of the Nile,
I would be standing there ten thousand years ago,
standing there in the First Time when the gods
walked the earth, the First Time which is
every moment. Ten thousand years, five
thousand, two thousand… it doesn’t matter.
The Nile flows. The land remembers,
in spite of the dam. The people remember,
despite the change in religion. And
I remember: the gods of my childhood,
the figures and the paintings in the museum,
Osiris of the crossed hands, Isis with her spread wings.

osiris-2

Sacred Nights: Foundation Day 2015

It is 1885 years since the apotheosis of Antinous, on this day in 130 CE.

It is 1885 years since the foundation of Antinoöpolis, His holy city named after Himself as the Founding Hero, on this day in 130 CE.

It is 13 years since the refounding of His cultus in the 21st century.

Let Osiris rejoice with Hapi, for the youth whom they deified is recognized today as a god.

Let all the goddesses rejoice, and with them the divae, heroines, and sanctae, for the Bithynian Boy has become divine, and his mother’s whole body heals.

Let Ophion, Chnoubis, and Glykon rejoice, and with them all the serpent deities, for the mystery of apotheosis is renewed in the sight of mortals.

Let Ananke rejoice, for what was necessary has been carried out.

Let Hadrian and Sabina rejoice even as they mourn, for while Antinous the youth is dead, Antinous the god lives forever and loves them and blesses them.

Let the people of Antinous rejoice, for our god is eternally alive and loves us and blesses us.

Let all the gods of every land and people rejoice, for a new immortal has been added to their ranks.

Welcomed by Persephone, purified by Hapi, one with Osiris, enthroned with the gods of Egypt, Antinous lives!

Sacred Nights: The Death of Osiris 2015

Hail, Osiris, whom Isis laments!
Hail, Osiris, whom Set wounded and scattered!
Hail, Osiris, twice dying, twice renewed!
Hail, Osiris, whom the Nile made mortal!
Hail, Osiris, whom the Nile made divine!
Hail, Osiris, opener of the way to the West!
Hail, Osiris, lord of the Am Duat!
Hail, Osiris, green blade that rises!
Hail, Osiris, fruitful father of Horus!
Hail, Osiris, giver of good things!
Hail, Osiris, justified by the judges!
Hail, Osiris, ruler of the dead!
Hail, Osiris, god ever-living!
Hail, Osiris, benevolent and wise!
Hail, Osiris, one with Antinous!
Dua Wesir! Khaire Osiris!
Dua Wesir-Antnus! Khaire Osirantinous!

Hymn XX: To Antinous and Serapis

Great Serapis, Osiris-Apis, Wesar-Hapi-Ankh,
whose Son is Anubis who is also Hermes,
bless your grandson, beautiful Antinous,
he who is one with Osiris, enthroned with the gods
of Egypt, and bless his worshippers, we who honor
the Greek ephebe who died in Egypt, him to whom
Bes and Djehuty gave a city, whom Hathor suckled,
to whom Harpocrates whispered the secret.
Hail, Osirantinous, the one who is made perfect,
who perfects his worshippers, triumphant in the West,
radiant on high, bringing red blossoms out of the black mud,
and hail to you, Serapis, grandfather of Antinous,
both of you the meeting-place of many gods.