I’ve made this public, so that people who might be interested in this sort of thing can go look. According to the stats page on my dashboard, these posts fill out Of Thespiae’s “Top Twelve” posts for 2012, in this order:
Eros & Eris:
Eris is a Goddess who is kind of like a Feminine counterpart to Ares and an “opposing forse” to Eros (in some Hellenic traditions, at least) in much the same way that Ares is an opposite to Aphrodite. Intriguingly, some mythos also pair Her as a “consort” or daughter of Ares similarly to how Eros is paired as a Son to Aphrodite — in that sense, like Eros, She has a “trickster” quality.
I don’t really worship Her in the way that some of my Discordian friends do, but like the nice ladies who already answered your question, I have a deep respect for Her. She’s nothing at all like the Christian view of Lucifer / Satan — she’s not actively malevolent, nor is she spiteful. She’s the goddess of Strife and Discord in the way that Eros is a God of Joy and Harmony — and just because Strife and Discord are unpleasant feelings doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily brought on by malevolent forces — likewise, joy and harmony can be brought about through active destruction (“schadenfreude”, as the Germans would say). ….
Derek Jarman’s Sebastiane and polytheism as a metaphor for homosexuality:
This is possibly one of my favourite films, and not just as an extension of my weakness for ridiculous films about Christian mythos (if you want ridiculous in your Christianity, The Apple is the best yet). While carrying the airs of serious art film, Sebastiane has a ridiculousness to it, don’t get me wrong (from the liberties taken with the saint’s mythos to Jarman’s response to questions about the film’s profuse nudity [“we couldn’t afford costumes after the first scene”] to the fact that it inspired an episode of Father Ted, Sebastiane‘s ridiculousness is hard to ignore), my love for this film has more to do with the fact that the more I watch it, the more I see something that I didn’t before realise was there.
A No-Nonsense TS/TG 101 For Pagans:
This year’s brouhaha courtesy of Pantheacon (or, as I call it: Dianics vs Transies1 2: Electric Boogaloo) reminded me exactly how ignorant a lot of pagans and polytheists are about TS/TG issues, even though we’re E~V~E~Y~W~H~E~R~E!!!! O~o~O~oO~o~h!!!!
No, serious. Trans people? Yeah, we’re pretty much everywhere. Even in the pagan community. Can’t escape us, so do yourself a favour and try to learn something.
James Bidgood, Homoeroticism, and Gay Spirituality:
I don’t remember where or when it was that I had personally first been made aware of Pink Narcissus, the masterpiece of gay erotica that was originally released under “Anonymous”, as the writer and director. The brilliant mind behind this work of art (and o, it is art) is painter and stage costume designer James Bidgood. In the 1950s, Bidgood began working with photography, and by the early 1960s he had already created a distinct and highly recognisable style that caught the attention of financiers for an “art film”. In 1963, filming began on Pink Narcissus, and was abruptly ended in 1970, when the financiers, feeling Bidgood was taking too long to finish, took the completed footage, sent it to an editor, and Bidgood, in possibly his most regretted decision, demanded his name be removed from the film on account of the fact that it didn’t yet match his vision for what it should have been.
Q: What is paganism? A: Absolutely nothing.
At least if you wander over to Tumblurgh. Oh, fuck, I guess it’s not restricted to that pinheaded site..
It’s kind of been bothering me in recent months how utterly devoid of any real meaning the word “pagan” is.
“‘Pagan’ means ‘person of a non-Abrahamic religion’”, says the dictionary. Oh, but here are Christians and Muslims who want to be pagans, too, and here’s some people appropriating Kabballah, guess we can’t say that any-more. See, I used to think that the wormer was called “folk Christianity / Islam” and the latter was “cultural misappropriation”, but I guess not.
30 Day Paganism Meme: Day 11 ~ Patrons – Apollon
As I noted yesterday, Apollon made Himself known to me before all others. As a child, it was the paintings of Apollon that really stood out to me in the D’Auliare book, and it was His mythology that fascinated me the most, and His was the face I often saw as I sang in my choirs. I don’t see the stoic white-marble Apollon that many see — I see Apollon strongest in images like that portrait of Beethoven that I always felt looked half-crazed, or this gorgeous painting of a crazed nymphe pounding on a lyre on the ceiling of the Fischer Building in Detroit. He’s a God of Moderation, and this includes moderating moderation itself — “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, sort of deity. Can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.
Hearts, the Baby Virus, and Butts
Silphion was an herb popular in the ancient Mediterranean for both its flavour and its medicinal qualities, aiding in ailments such as cough, sore throat, indigestion, warts, and (argueably most popularly) as either a contraceptive or an abortificant (likely the latter). The exact species is unknown to modern people because it was said to have been virtually extinct by the time of Nero, with Pliny reporting that one of the last stalks was given to the Emperor as a curiosity. Some anthropologists with a speciality in related fields suspect that silphion was of the genus Ferula, possibly a relation to “giant fennel” (not a true fennel) or wild carrot. According to some legends, it was a gift of Apollon.
I’m really flattered by the fact that so many of these are… rather old, in blogging years. Think about it, most blogs are lucky to see their first birthday, and most blogs that have been going on as long as this one (since October 2008; with a couple from 2007 cross-posted from LiveJournal and backdated) suffer major burnout, and are often lucky to get a few posts a quarter, just to prove the author is still interested in the topic. Have I occasionally neglected this blog due to illness, seasonal depression, or offline dramas? Yep, can’t deny that; but out of the fifty-two months this blog has been going, I’ve only skipped five of those months, and they weren’t all in a row. That’s a pretty decent track record.
I’ve also (finally) decided to see how long I can go in the Pagan Blogging Project thing that ate everybody’s brains for the first few months of 2012. As I was looking through my “top posts” of 2012, I realised that Sannion was right: I’m one of only a few people ever who started that “30 Days of Paganism” blog meme. Sure, they weren’t all in a row, but that’s my only regret about that. I started it, I’m one of only a handful of people who’ve ever finished it, and I’m kind of proud of that.
I also intend to get back to my ‘weekly’ series on Boeotian Religion, cos really, there’s no reason I shouldn’t’ve finished it, by now.