And now, I mourn

Four days, I will fast, wear rags, and maintain minimal human contact.

One of my cats has died.

On Monday, I shall resume bathing and clean the apartment, as is tradition.


Shop has moved again!

Apparently, StorEnvy only allows a maximum of 500 items per shop, which for someone who, in addition to two novels, half a dozen for-sale paintings, an e-calendar, also has over 900 button designs up for sale, is unacceptable.

The Nocturnal Spirits shop on Etsy, as well as my OddModOut button shop, is now CLOSED! This is because of complete nonsense that I’d contest if Etsy’s listing fees weren’t eating 30-50% of my profits every month, meaning i was planning on moving to a different site, anyway (my original plan was to wait to do it until after I’ve moved in a couple weeks, but oh well….)

On the good side, I’m on Artfire, now, and not only are they cheaper (a flat rate in tiers, based on shop size — ranging from Free for only 24 items in a shop to $60/month for 2500+/unlimited items — I’m currently at $40/month for 501-1000 items, whereas on Etsy, I was paying an average of $85/month), they’ve been absolute dolls to deal with, so far.

I’m also allowed more than ten Shop Sections/Categories, meaning I can not only categorise all my buttons, but also have categories for my writing, music, and art projects without needing to set up multiple shops. It’s pretty much an all-purpose e-Boutique for everything I do, and I plan on eventually branching out into jewellery, beaded items, kombolói, and more.

Where this is especially relevant, here, is that I just noticed that they allow Digital media items for sale, as well, meaning anyone waiting for the next edition of the New Boeotian Calendar will definitely have a place to go pick it up! Because I’ll be moving very soon, I’m going to postpone actually working on the new edition until after I have the computer set up at the new place, but if you were hoping for it, that’s what’s up with that!

Until the new New Boeotian Calendar is done, and since the year is almost over, I’m going to post the current calendar for $2 (or $1.70 for other Artfire patrons/sellers)!! (The new NBC will be at the regular price of $4.) If you still don’t have a copy, yet, and you want to check it out before getting the new one, now is the time! I’m able to update this thing in less than two weeks, at this point, so you’ve got maybe four weeks, tops, to get this!

Happy New Year

Today at sundown is the Boeotian New year. Now, I haven’t done the maths, but I imagine it will be some time before it’s this close to the solstice, again. If I’m lucky, I may see it on the solstice in my lifetime.

Hang your evergreen, give practical (or at least necessary) hand-made things to your loved ones, and feast.

In case you all were curious, my cat has gotten more gifts than i have, this year.

My own plans? Well, I’m going to go to the Pagans In Ann Arbor meet-up at Crazy Wisdom, and then come home and have dinner with my cat and write up a budget for my mannequin project, maybe see if I currently have any paints that would work to start with, and make some basic Hellenic and Boeotian alphabet divination tiles.

Merry Kitsch-mas

Yeah, i know that evergreens have a long-standing place in many pagan and polytheist traditions, and there are certainly some pine and fir species native to Greece and Her ancient colonies, but damned if I can find much suggesting that either are specifically sacred to this time of year. And let’s check the weather in modern Thespiai for this time of the year; not very analogous to Ypsilanti, MI, is it?

…but I love the kitcshy metallic decorative trees, I do, and adapting to the local ways is, at least to some extent, a part of the ancient tradition —and for certain definitions to “local”, kitsch is very much a part of U.S. culture that I can respect (just look at how many John Waters films I inflict on unsuspecting friends). So I adapt the kitschy tree to celebrate the new year, and reflect my Boeotian and Hedonist religion.

I pick out my ornaments very carefully: Birds for Eros, Butterflies for Psykhe, and Jewels for Hedone. The colours are a little less meaningful; purple is my favourite colour, and I’ve come to associate blues with Eros, and the two compliment each-other well. The arrangement is also made with an aesthetic quality in mind (and frankly, while I liked making cheesy little ornaments as a kid, I always HATED the appearance of the typical “family tree”, with a lot of sentimental ornaments, and no sense of appearance in mind –I remember asking my mother several times why we didn’t have those gorgeous, colour-themed trees decorated with gossamer ribbons and coordinated ornaments in the displays at the stores and in some magazines, and she never gave me a straight answer and always added “when you grow up and get your own tree, you can decorate it however you like”. Good. I will. And it’ll be a better tree! With blackjack! And hookers!)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Want to help me pay my post-holiday electric bill? Take a look at my Nocturnal Spirits or OddModOut Etsy shops; if you see nothing you like, there, please consider donating to my Patreon fund-raiser.

Boeotian Alphabet Divination system

This is a variant of the Hellenic Alphabet Divination system seen here; I’ve created this variant myself using verses from Hesiod and Pindar.

Because the Boeotian alphabet lacks Eta, Xi, Psi, and Omega, but instead uses Digamma, Heta, and Qoppa, resulting in a twenty-three letter alphabet, which is harder to divide Sculpey by (which is kind of important when I’m doing marbled tiles, cos it’s not like I can easily use the extra 1/24th segment I’ve cut in another project), I’ve also added the Thespian raised Epsilon.

Alpha: But Prometheus, noble son of Iapetos, stole fire for Man’s sake from Zeus.
Beta: O Perses, follow right: control your pride. For pride is evil in a common man.
Gamma: He dealt death in battle to ravening lions and boars were his prey.
Delta: She shall give her at once, that she may dwell beside her, a portion of land to yield her fruit of all that grows, and wild beasts shall be found there.
Epsilon: Dear soul of mine, for immortal days trouble not: the help that is to be had drain to the last.
Digamma: After him appears to men Pandion’s high-voiced, mournful child, the swallow, when the spring has just begun.
Zeta: It is right that Orion should travel not far from the Doves of the mountain.
Heta: For without the Holy Khairetes not even the Gods rule dances or feasts.
Theta: These days are blessings to the men on Earth; the rest are fickle, bland, and bring no luck.
Iota: The eye of Zeus sees all, and understands, and when He wishes, marks and does not miss how just a city is, inside.
Kappa: Vile old age never appeared, but always lively-limbed, far from all ills, they feasted happily.
Lambda: Great deeds give choice of many tales.
Mu: Observe the days which come from Zeus; instruct your slaves to honour them appropriately.
Nu: Fearless Telamon gave to him a bowl, shivering with gold, full of wine.
Omicron: He who has suffered gains foresight with his mnd.
Pi: Truly what is kept in silence brings even larger delight.
Qoppa: Particularly good is one who lives nearby, but look around you carefully, lest all the neighbours chuckle at your choice.
Rho: He stood dumbfounded in wonder hard to endure but delightful.
Sigma: Truly wealth patterned with prowess brings the moment for this or for that, if it rouses deep ambition to range afar, a transcendent star, the truest light for a man.
Tau: Come, shape words into a sweet melody.
Upsilon When summer still is waxing, tell your slaves: ‘Summer is not for ever; now, build barns.’
Phi: Fifth days are harsh and frightening; take care.
Chi: The beggar’s envy is a beggar, the singer’s a singer.
Thespiae raised Epsilon: They are renowned on strings and the loud cries of flutes in every key for uncounted time.

I’ve created a set of tiles for my own use, and will be soon making a set for sale up at the Nocturnal Spirits shop. I was going to make a print-out of the verses for each letter to include with that set.

If you need your own set of Hellenic alphabet divination tiles (either the standard set, archaic or modern style, or Boeotian alphabet, feel free to recommend colours to me for the set you’d like.

Also, a friendly reminder that I’m trying to raise income through Patreon so that I can afford to pursue my art, music, and divination full-time. If you’ve not been watching on Facebook, long story short is that my food assistance somehow got reduced to the minimum payment of only $16/month —this is not enough to live on, and I really can’t afford to feed myself on cash only, right now (I have a cat, and most of my medications are herbals that I can’t get a prescription for, so pretty much all of what I make on Etsy right now is going to other things). If you were thinking of buying buttons or a painting or donating through Patreon, now is a really important time to do so, since I have absolutely no idea when this shit is going to get fixed.

Another glowing recommendation!

If you read Home, Heart, and Hearth on Tumblr, you may have seen that the New Boeotian calendar and my post about “but what do the Gods REALLY want???” got some glowing recommendation. 🙂 HHH also highlights a lot of other highly recommended blogs and posts, so go check out the entire post here. If you don’t regularly read Home, Heart, and Hearth, why not? Go start, now!

And remember, kids, the calendar is only $4, especially relative to the work I put into it, that’s apparently a steal for such a thing. I’m going to need to get another loaf of bread, soon, and my foodstamp card is empty until the 19th, and the Ypsilanti Farmer’s Market opens up again on Tuesday (where I have some IOU garlic to pick up and, understandably, would like to get more than some garlic that’s already been paid for). If you really can’t do $4 for the calendar, contact me and we’ll see if we can work something else out.

Well, that was impeccably flattering

So, as I know I’ve said before, but probably haven’t mentioned in a while, I make an effort to go check out any incoming links to Of Thespiae that I can —obviously, I can’t go and check out every friends-locked FaceBook post that brings people here, or e-mail forward, and some web-based feed-readers just give me a total number of hits from there, which is great all around, but it’s not as fascinating as seeing what other bloggers have to say. I bring this up because I just checked out this post, from Wednesday, by Polyphanes at The Digital Ambler, wherein he says:

To learn more about other cultures, specifically their calendrical practices, you could do worse than browse the six-volume work Origines Kalendariæ Hellenicæ by Edward Greswell from the 1860s (volumes one, two, three, four, five, and six), but this is a massive undertaking and quite boring, useful only if you want to know some of the specific legislation, customs, and timing of festivals and rituals among really niche groups. It’s detailed but dense and hard to read, and there hasn’t been a work like it since it was published. Instead, I’d like to suggest you check out the fantastic blog of Ruadhán J McElroy, Of Thespiae, a long-time Hellenist who notably doesn’t use the Attic calendar. Instead, he uses a modernized version of the classical Boeotian calendar, which is notably different from the Athenian calendar in many respects. In addition, Ruadhán sells PDF copies of the calendar for your easy and convenient reference on his [polytheism]-focused Etsy shop for only US$4.00! You should totally buy a copy, since this is dirt cheap for a lot of heavy work put into formatting and planning all the Boeotian monthly and yearly festivals for 2015. I bought a copy, and I’m pleased with what I found.

Why is this important? Because “ancient Greece” was much, much bigger and much, much more diverse than what our common knowledge would indicate. As I already mentioned, most of what we know of ancient Greece comes from Athens about Athens and written by Athenians for Athenians, from the dramas to the histories and everything in-between, so having an alternative view from a practitioner about things done a different, yet still reconstructionally valid and legitimate way, is extraordinarily valuable for the growth and further understanding of Hellenic classical religion and modern practice. Just knowing Athenian religion and making that the default can stymie further research and opportunities for exploration within Hellenic paganism, and as Edward Butler said on Twitter, “regional [traditions] are valuable…Hopefully in the years to come we’ll see more of these regional [traditions], which require high research skills. Good to support them.” As Ruadhán is one of these very few people competently researching and practicing alternative and regional traditions within the framework and boundaries of ancient Greece, it’s crucially important for him to be able to continue this research, and what better way than buying what he produces?

So, dear reader, what are you waiting for? Go buy a copy of Ruadhán’s Boeotian calendar PDF today!

I really couldn’t have asked for a kinder review or more enthusiastic recommendation, so consider me quite thoroughly flattered. 🙂

…and speaking of kind words and hearty recommendations, apparently I have an official seal of approval from, Arwulf Arwulf, one of WCBN-FM’s longest-employed DJs (possibly *the* longest-employed DJ there), who had me on for an apprenticeship shit on Thursday. He also had this nugget of wisdom to share in the middle of a set of kazoo recordings from 1924:

“We’ve been making and recording silly, corny music for some time. I think it’s in our genome to be like this. It’s not necessarily a path for everyone, but good for them I’ve taken on enough for several people.”

If you’re in Washtenaw County or you plan on being online between 8-10pm EST (GMT-0500) on Monday night, and / or 7-9pm EST (GMT-0500) Wednesday night, please go on to and listen online –or if you have an Android device or iPhone, download the live-streaming app. I’m on for two more apprenticeship shifts on those days, and one more to come (still need to confirm with that DJ); it’s unlikely that I’ll be on the air, but call in or email requests, they’re both freeform shows, which means there is no limit to what can be played, as long as we either have it or can find it online, we’ll play just about anything during the freeform shows (and if you’re lucky, I might slip a few of my Wendy Rule or Daemonia Nymphe CDs into my bag, if you feel so inclined to make such a request).