Well, it looks like social media drama queens can be useful, in some ways! I’ve gained more subscribers in the week-plus since I made that post than in any single fortnight period since I started this blog —this is, of course, not counting those who feed the .rss through Google Reader or some similar thing, which is harder to keep track of individual readers through.
So, here’s a quick run-down of what this blog and its writer, Ruadhán McElroy, are all about:
I’m a devotional / traditional Hellenic Polytheist, but unlike most traditional Hellenists, I’m following Boeotian traditions rather than Attic traditions. There are some differences between Attic (or Athenian, the major city of the region of Attika) and Boeotian polytheism traditions, including some deity names; I often consider using the Boeotian names (or Aeolic, the parent Hellenic dialect of Boeotian, Thessalian, and Lesvian dialects) that I know on this blog, such as Deus instead Zeus, or Arpus instead Eros, but I go with Attic names in the blog because I believe, in most ways, if not all, the deities are essentially the same, it’s just regional understanding of them is different. I do, though, mostly use the regional names and epithets in my practises (often interchangeably with the more common, Attic names), except in instances where I simply don’t know the name(s) used in the region.
I’m bonded, spiritually and through ritual, to Eros. This is one of, if not the main reason I specifically follow Boeotian traditions. Some may call this “god spousal”, and while I’ve used that term on occasion myself, it’s a bit more complicated than just that. In Boeotia, Eros was a major deity whose worship is traditionally traced the the city of Thespiae —thus we learn where the name of this blog comes from.
I do a religious calendar based on what I know of the Boeotian calendar and festival cycles. I call it the New Boeotian Calendar because while I practice in a reconstructionist methodology, I’ve made estimates and “guesstimates”, and sometimes selected dates based on similar festivals from HMEPA. This is because, despite the wealth of information about the ancient Boeotians, information about the calendar that is readily available to me is lacking.
I’m male gendered, but trans (so FTM, female-to-male), and of queer sexual identity. This comes up a lot, as while I certainly believe the major biological hypotheses for trans identities are plausible (the “hormone wash hypothesis” is outdated, by the way; there were some more recent studies, though, that suggest TS/TG people have a certain portion of the brain structured more similarly to the gender we say we are than the gender we were determined to be at birth —unfortunately, this etiology is controversial, as it’s impossible to examine on living patients, and very few TS/TG parients have been examined both post-mortem and pre-transition), I also believe that this was doubly important for my spiritual well-being. That said, I identify less as “trans spiritual / pagan” than I do as “gay or queer spiritual / pagan”, but my TS history and status certainly informs that in some ways.
I’m disabled. I have pronounced spinal curvature in a pattern typically associated with acondroplasic dwarfism, and I have some less noticable variants of common acondroplasia traits that my doctor pointed out; but I’m 4’11.5″ tall, so while plausible that I may have a very mild case acondroplasia (a proper diagnosis would necessitate analysis of DNA, at least at my height, but she’s pretty convinced that between my bowed legs and stubby little hands and feet, that I am the world’s tallest midget1), I’m an inch-and-a-half too tall to be considered a dwarf. I also have carpal tunnel syndrome, adult type ADHD, Seasonal Affecive Disorder (Winter), and general anxiety disorder. At one time, I was working, but due to largely physical reasons, I have been unable to work for nearly ten years. I have never done well on psych meds; my cat is basically a therapy animal, as she’s the most compassionate being I know, and she’s also hyper-aware of emotional stress in humans and has a practically instinctive desire to comfort people. I supplement my disability allowance (which is less than $700/month, despite what many Republicans and ignorant people on the Internet might want you to believe) with writing stories and selling badges on Etsy; my two novels (so far) are Simple Man and New Dance. That said, this is pretty much the closest I get to the whole “my life is an open blog” type of thing, and I mainly mention it cos sometimes I’m in too much pain, or just too stressed out, or too busy with my stories or badges, to write on a particular day. I also have another blog, The Odd Mod Out; depending on my mood, or the weather (so.. basically, my mood). I have some more personal facts posted alongside my Very Inspiring Blogger award.
My spirituality is very urban based. I used to do a blog called Urban Hellenistos, but I realised that, as I was working on that 30 Days of Paganism blog meme, and a blog project where I make a few posts a week about the deities worshiped in Boeotia, that a lot of my urban spirituality is not at all separate from Boeotian religion (indeed, I’ve named this blog after a city in Boeotia), so the other blog is archived, and discussion is continued here in mirrored posts. I find that my ability to connect very easily with the Urban Divine makes it hard for me to relate to most people who identify as pagan, as most self-identified pagans were taught to connect to the rural and wild divine, and identify their religion as very wilderness or rural-centred. I’m also working on the first instalment of a series of posts reviewing books on or related to urban paganism.
Apparently, I’m also known amongst the Tumblrsphere for my “hilarious back-and-forth” that time my friend Kyrene posted that infamous Tim Alexander / Robin Artisson slash. I take issue with the notion that I’m a well-known figure in Ekklesia Antinoou, as I’ve done almost nothing with that group, unless you count reminding P. Sufenas of some dates or saying something queer-related here that might get referenced on the list or something. I have no idea where VVF got that idea, as while I’m still technically a part of that group, I don’t think I’ve ever been incredibly active, outside of the comments on P. Sufenas’ blog. Hell, I’m not even linked in the blogroll.
I try to be very good about categories and tags in this blog, so that not only can they be optimised for search engines, but so that I (and my readers, of course —all five of them) can find posts or topics in this blog fairly easily. Feel free to peruse the archives, comment, ask questions, et cetera…. I don’t shut off comments after a span of time, cos frankly, I don’t get that many.
So, once again, a big hearty “Thank you” to the Big Pink Ox who knows who she is for gaining me more readers and subscribers! I still doubt your abilities to say much of significant value (I mean, hell, all I’ve really done of any value to the pagan and polytheist communities was slap together an alternative Hellenic ritual calendar, and updated it; I get more hits to this blog over images of Isadora Duncan than Eros worship or Boeotian religion), but you sure have a way of both giving me a laugh and brightening my day!
1: My words, and yes, I know how disparaging many people with clinical dwarfism see that. I think, given everything I had just explained, that it’s funny, but I can also accept that you might not find it so.