’tis the season to make art….

Like Dver at A Forest Door, winter has oddly been the time of the year I feel most tuned in to Apollon (or well, well, as she did before said devotional relationship ended). This regularly perplexes me, as I’ve made no secret of my seasonal depression (where Winter is my season), nor my chronic back pain (which gets worse in cold weather), but on the better days during the winter, I try to use that closeness to get some time with the Moisai of art. In fact, since my schedule tends to wind down a bit in winter, I’ve been making efforts to schedule in some art time.

As you all probably know by now, I write, paint, and make music, in addition to running my mouth on the Internet, updating a calendar by hand, pressing buttons (some of which I even design, myself!), and sculpting Hellenic Alphabet divination tiles out of polymer clay. Sometimes I also just get a thing of Sculpey and make about a dozen tiny penises. Oh, and if you were at the Polytheist Leadership Conference at Fishkill, NY, this last summer, you just might remember my bag that I took a Bedazzler and Polari to.

I bring this up now because I’m too excited by one of my luckiest finds I ever did find:

At my friend Kelly’s shop, I ran into an old acquaintance. I don’t think he recognised me, but it’s been at least five years (three-and-a-half of which, I was in Lansing) and one public appearance of gender ago, and while we saw each other in a lot of the same places, we were never really friends, but I digress. So, apparently he and his boyfriend are leaving for California tomorrow or something, so he was at Kelly’s shop to see if she wanted to buy, or at least do anything with a small bundle of vintage clothing and five or six mannequin torsos.

Kelly took the clothes, but really had no use for the torsos, as a few of them weren’t free-standing or were “too modern”. Lesley, the employee she had in today, bought the gold one, cos why not, right? And I offered all the cash I had on me (which was only $8) for this one, after it was suggested that he was just going to leave the box of torsos out by the kerb with a “FREE” sign. I knew from walking in at the middle of the convo that he and his boyfriend were going to be driving to California, so I figured the cash could be a help, even if it wasn’t that much, and honestly, while I could’ve waited a few minutes for her to go for free, I didn’t want to risk someone else snatching her up or some jackass student picking her out and smashing her (it may have only been about 6 in the afternoon, but that kind of shit’s been known to happen on a Monday in downtown Ann Arbor).

And I picked her out not just for the clear Erté-influence to her design, but because I got an immediate vision.

A lot of my paintings were planned exactly as they look (more or less), and this started when I went to the store for canvases and went looking through each one until I found one that I saw a painting on. I know that probably sounds nuts to a lot of people, but it’s how I work, and considering that I really love most of my paintings, I’m not going to argue with this process. That’s the sort of thing happened with this mannequin.

My acquaintance named her Prudence, but the vibe I got right away was Aphrodite Melainis. I know exactly what colours I’m going to use, which paints will be glitter and which will be satins or gloss. I know how many rhinestones I’m going to applique and in what patterns. The only thing I don’t know is how long it’s going to take me to find her a lower body and arms (but I know there are certainly mannequin collectors where I can eventually procure these parts from), nor do I exactly know how those parts look (she has sockets for them, so clearly she had them at one time, and can eventually have them again), but I know how I’m going to paint those parts and how I’ll embellish on them.

She’s a project that is probably going to take years, maybe even the better part of the next decade or two, to complete, but it’ll be worth it. It’s also brutally important, at this point, that I sell some paintings to help fund this project. It’ll all be worth it, of course, and the uncertainty of my abilities to complete her is obviously no reason to not start as soon as possible. After I clear her up some, I’m going to take a few clear images and do a thorough search for any identifying marks so I can make it easier to hunt down her maker and model names, if only to streamline my search for her missing lower half and arms. After I’ve got the photos and any other information that can help my search for an “official” identity, I’m going to start working on her transformation to Melainis. I’m also going to crack down on getting my room in order, if only so that I have space for her and her progress.

At this time, this is probably the most important piece of art I’ve decided to take on.

All in the service of Eros’ radiant Daughter

So I’ve been doing things lately. Things that I have been wanting to do for some years now, but for reasons never went forth to do. Some of it was environmental depression, some of it was inertia, some of it was a touch of fear that i couldn’t, or perhaps shouldn’t.

One item is something that I’ve actually had planned out in my head for about ten years, but for reasons, never thought I could ever do, or should ever do until I moved back to the area and got the “go ahead” from Hedone. I’m currently hoping to raise funds for a quarterly event called The Tomb. I’m mentioning this here for two reasons: First, I’ve only got about a month left to raise the bare minimum of money needed, and two, if this event can take off, I will begin each night with a libation to Nyx and Hedone, seasonal deities, and local spirits and local heroes and ancestors.

I’m also now officially volunteering at the local Ann Arbor “uni station”, WCBN. It’s one of less than a dozen truly free-form radio stations left in the United States. The volunteer position I signed up for will eventually get me an on-air slot, probably very late at night, to start, and it’s encouraged that my demo tape (which has to be done on a compact audio casette —it’s *that* old-school) be as unstructured as possible, with a healthy selection from the WCBN library. I’m planning, once i get on the air, of letting Apollon guide my selections for the block. As I’ve wanted to do this for at least the last six or seven years, I’m also making an offering of incense to Hedone before i go to volunteer my time at WCBN.

(As an aside, especially if you haven’t clicked on the link to WCBN’s official site, yet, you can listen online, and if you have an Android phone, they also have a free app to listen.)

Things have also mostly settled down after the move and I can finally schedule in time for writing and painting and even music!

Also, i know I’ve been going on about it for some time now, but tomorrow I’m going to set aside some time to post all the art I have for sale, and maybe later in the week I can go through some ritual items and see what I want or need to sell and what I want or need to keep, and get those things up, too. I haven’t accumulated much, mostly cos money, but I have reached a point where I might have more than I need right now.

Off to go do my weekly 90 minutes of work! Whee!

Back from A2/Ypsi!

Well, my 27-hour adventure in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area went pretty well. My bus arrived on-time, and I turned ’round the corner to the post office to mail Etsy stuff, but the clerk who got me clearly wasn’t used to running so many things with tracking numbers at once, and I spent nearly twenty minutes *just* on Etsy stuff, so I figured I’d put off renting a P.O. Box until just before my return, cos I figured that was going to be at least twenty minutes, on its own, even without someone doing point-n-peck typing.

After that, I stopped at the CVS that’s on State Street now, which is right near my friend Kelly’s store, The GetUp Vintage, cos they didn’t open until noon, and I needed food, so sure, why not? Unfortunately, i forgot my water bottle as I was packing my overnight bag, so I grabbed a litre of Evian (it’s almost as slim as my purple aluminium bottle, so I know it’ll fit on the side-pocket of my backpack), one of those turkey sandwiches from the cooler, and a bag of “Mediterranean Medley” (or something like that) trail mix, (in part cos it was the only one that didn’t have soy in it).

I then went across the street to sit on the stairs of one of the university buildings that litters the downtown Ann Arbor area, and I lit one of the candles and sticks of incense that I brought, and said a short prayer to Hestia and Apollon before settling down to my meal:

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Now, as all proper Hellenists know, a libation is also part of this sort of thing, and so rather spend oodles of money I couldn’t afford on wine and a cup or bowl for said wine, i did the unthinkable —I took out a bit of my trail mix with my thumb and first two fingers, and rather than pour out onto the earth, I placed it on the elevated ledge there, and poured a tiny bit of water (probably less than half an ounce, to be honest) onto the mix of dried fruits and nuts. I know, pretty hard, right? I don’t know how some of us in the “piety posse” ever manage to get through the day, with all these sacrifices.

Unfortunately, while The GetUp opens at noon, Kelley has some-one else do her opening, cos she lives out of the area and cos of traffic tends not to come in until about 1pm, but I had things to do and get done, especially as I had the primary renter of the apartment to meet up with around 4pm in Ypsilanti.

So, I cut through Nickels Arcade, which I’ve always felt nymph presence at, in addition to Hermes (not just because it’s a covered street of shops, but cos the Arcade often attracts pan-handlers), the Moisai (because it’s always a site for buskers), and Hekate (because, especially as the location I lit the candle at the end, the Arcade has always struck me as this sort of high-end alleyway, and YMMV, but I tend to feel Hekate’s presence in alleyways, as well as more traditional crossroads). I also decided to light a candle and some incense at the far end, where it exits onto Maynard Street:

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Such terribly hard work, and I think I spent all of my moving donations to have to do it, but I do it! (in case this is unclear, I’m being sarcastic.)

I left a “seeking roommate(s)” notice at Encore Records, and… You know, i can’t remember if i did anything else on my way back to the bus station to get to The Ugly Mug in Ypsilanti, but clearly I did *something*, but damned if i can recall what….

So, I took the bus into Ypsilanti, and figured I’d stop at the Deja Vu Love Boutique –you know, the porn shop next to/technically inside the stripper club (it’s not a “nudie bar”, Michigan has laws against that). I’d had some friends who used to work there, and I knew it was a long shot to see if they still did, but I also knew that it was pretty frequent that the dancers are looking for reliable roommates, so it’d be worth it to check, right? Well, I got in, and no-one i knew was working, and it’s possible that the whole staff of people i used to know isn’t there anymore. And to top it off, an older man who worked there at the shop, Big Al, who had this almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the porn tastes of the regulars, and always seemed extra-excited to see me and my current humanoid meat-based housemate, I had heard that he had actually died. He had to be at least in his seventies, so I’m not too surprised, but he was nice enough, so when I stepped back out to make my way to the coffeehouse, I places a candle on the pavement and stuck an incense stick between the bricks, and asked the Khthonoi to see his safe journey:

No, I didn't clear the cigarette butt --somehow, it seemed appropriate.

No, I didn’t clear the cigarette butt –somehow, it seemed appropriate.

I got to The Ugly Mug a bit early, and so I plugged in the charger cord for mt mp3 player, and ordered an iced vanilla latte. Just over the little station where they have the sugar and creamer and lids and stuff, they had these little busts that I forgot to get photos of, and I don’t even remember who (or Who) they were supposed to be (and of course they’re not in the panorama of the interior), but the dress and hair seemed mid-Victorian, and one was the basic eggshell/ivory-coloured resin and one was stained brownish-blacking, possibly with tea or coffee. With the stained one, I was immediately reminded of Aphrodite Melainis (Αφροδιτη Μελαινις); I was kind of tempted to pocket it (and i can be sneaky), but I figure if I end up moving close by, either a) on the off chance this’d be my first time caught stealing, it would not do me any good to steal from the best coffeehouse within walking distance of where i was guessing I might end up living, OR b) if i did end up moving to the area, i could just ask how much they cost. Of course, i could’ve asked that, at the time, but I was expecting to see the only real prospects I had on a roommate situation, and i didn’t on the off chance that She’d be $15 or less, I didn’t want t get caught in a loop of trying to decide whether or not i could afford the expense.

The potential roommate was running a bit late, but when she showed up, we chatted a bit about situations, what we’re looking for in co-habitants, and cost of living expenses after utilities. Personality-wise, she’s pretty chill and laid-back, not the biggest stickler on cleaning in the common areas (“if you say you’ll get to it, just get to it when you can, no big deal”), and totally cool with the trans thing (even sounds like she’d be willing to eliminate other potential roommates from the running if they aren’t). We walked back to the apartment, and the place was *gorgeous*. It’s an apartment in a converted BIG old Victorian house (one of the more modest ones, to be fair), and the apartment itself is about half of the basement, and maybe a third or just over that of the Ground/First level, and the two floors have a spiral staircase –and the Ground level master bedroom opens up onto a porch; the potential roommate said she’s taking over the master, but that she doesn’t care if other people in the apartment go through it to use the porch. 🙂 So, assuming I get a room there, I can bring my bird feeders!

Now, I say “assuming I get a room there” because *technically* nothing is set in stone, just yet. After I looked around, Potential New Roommate aid that she’d planned to email people later that night or early today, and that it was going to be “first come, first served”, as in the first three of the five people to get back to her would get to fill out an application with the property management. I said “this could be an issue, cos I don’t have a smartphone and so no guaranteed Internet access until I get back to Lansing”, which was around 4pm today; if it wasn’t going to be any trouble, I asked, would I be able to just fill out an application, right then, if she had any *or*, if she didn’t, would she be willing to take my claim to an application before she sent out the emails. As luck would have it, she had an app for property management right there, and the apartment had wi-fi so I could check on the Lansing house’s property management phone number –I even offered to go get copies made of Nigel’s current vaccine documentation and ESA certificate, but that wasn’t going to be necessary until I get my credit check approved.

And speaking of cats, the Potential Primary Roommate has a cat, a fluffy long-haired tabby named Cleo; she’s a little shy, but very sweet. There are also potentially two other cats who will be staying while their owners move out to places that may be anti-cat and a total of three other cats there, now: a big orange tabby named Jerry(?), a slightly smaller orange tabby, and a brown/grey-and-black tabby with a white belly (I forget the names of these two). The cats are very playful with each-other, and I know that Nigel will love that, cos before Vermin died, when Nigel was still a wee kitten, he really wanted her to play with him (since Chunk and the now-departed Fat Bob wanted nothing to do with him), and he’s so happy when the tamer of the porch cats will come in for a few minutes to play with him, so I know it’ll be good for Nigel to make friends with other cats –might even help some of his shyness issues with strangers when he’s out of his carrier (he does fine at the vet and the groomer, but as soon as a stranger [to him] even steps on the porch, he’s trying to get under the chair, cos obviously this person is here to murder kitties!)

When I finished up and asked for directions back to the Ypsilanti Bus Station for the AATA, Prospective Roommate said “yeah, just make a left out that way onto N. Washington, and it should be just down the street eventually. This was an overstatement –the bus is just barely a block away! Also, on the very short walk to the bus station, apparently some of the people in the neighbourhood think the local nymphai get chilly:

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So I hopped on a bus back to Ann Arbor to see my friend Jeff at PJ’s Used Records. I got off the bus about a block early (three and a half years away led to forgetting that there’s a stop right out in front of the shop), and when i stepped in, I said “It’s smells like old hippies in here!” (which is kind of true, when Jeff’s working), and here’s something interesting he had to share:

We chatted a bit, I politely explained that I was unable to really justify buying anything from my hold this time, but to wish me luck on the apartment, and, just as an “insurance policy”, put up a “Seeking Roommate(s)” notice on the corkboard just outside.

I noticed that i *just* had some time to swing by Crazy Wisdom and maybe fill out the app at the Tea Room, but by the time i got there, I was told that there weren’t currently any openings, but maybe if i’m persistent the manager (who was not there) would at least keep my app on file. On my way out, got the urge to ask the woman at the book counter if there were any downstairs openings at the time, and she said no, but assured me that even thoug the manager likes to have people commit to at least a year at the Tea Room, that there’s a high turn-around, cos food service, so just be persistent, and it’ll happen, eventually. Then on my way out, I noticed a statue of The Three Kharites (Χαριτες) in a case. Because it’s what sells, most of the statuary at CW is either Hindu, Buddhist, or Celtic. They have a very small selection of Shenist and Kemetic deities, but it’s actually unusual to see Græco-Roman stuff there, at all. Cos I couldn’t see the price, I asked the woman at the book counter if she could check that for me, and it’s certainly affordable. I asked how long they could hold stuff, and she said only about two or three days, and since I’m not going to be back for at least another two weeks, that wouldn’t be fair, so I said, “well, I’ll just cross my fingers that They’ll still be here when i can justify the price.” She responded, “they will be.” I thought it was a tad odd, but noteworthy, that she didn’t couch this in a “probably”, so here’s hoping. 🙂

At the trans group, I met a few new people and said hi to some people I saw last time. Unfortunately, nothing much to say about that, but I did share my experience at the Polytheist Leadership Conference and also my search for living arrangements back in the area, and asked people to “pray to whatever deities or saints they think could help, light a candle, and/or just send out good vibe or energy for me. Apparently at least one person from group lives in the neighbourhood, too (not sure where, and since I’m not giving their name, hopefully this doesn’t breach the expectation of confidentiality in that group), so I just may have someone to go forth and make mayhem art with!

I then got back to the Ypsilanti bus station and met up with my couchsurfing.com person for the overnight I had planned. She has a half-blind, 12-year-old Pomeranian who loves carrots and thinks I’m a bigger sucker than I am. Not much to say, there, we chatted, I slept, woke up, showered, and got on the bus back to Ann Arbor.

When I got back to A2, first I stopped at the Forest Hill Cemetery. I stopped there instead of the Island Drive Park, where i had planned to cos a) I was now doubting that the park was where I remembered it was and b) I tried to find the cemetery the day before, but because Ann Arbor’s city streets were designed on cannabis or something, where I should’ve turned a hard right, I turned a soft left and instead wound up at the dental school. I found one of my old favourite spots and stopped to light some incense for Nyx, Persephone, and the Dead. Now, the day before, I stopped in at the little shop called Middle Earth, where they sell postcards and a bunch of trinkety things, and they had a wall of Wildberry™ Incense; I had grabbed a few sticks of Opium and a few sticks of Sizzling Bacon for my current humanoid meat-based housemate. When I stopped in the cemetery, I intended only to burn the stick of patchouli for the local dead (which was lying around and fit in my overnight bag, and in a pinch, I’ll use anything that doesn’t specifically has Khthonic qualities, as an all-purpose incense) and a stick of the Opium for Nyx, but as I was there, and praying, supplicating my weord old Goddess for Her blessing, I said suddenly, mid-thought, “yes, you’re right, Persephone wants the Sizzling Bacon, Scott won’t mind one less stick.”

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I had lunch at NYPD (New York Pizza Depot), and then made my way back to the Student Union, or rather, the vicinity of its rear entrance on Maynard street for another little offering to the local gods; I would jave the day before, just before group, but i had been on my feet, carring my messenger bag and my overnight bag, and I was afraid that if I sat down on the steps, I would not be able to get back up in time for group. So why here, in particular?

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Click the picture for the full-size. See what building I had to stop at, there? See why it was a moral imperative that I libate and offer incense to Apollon and the Moisai, there? 🙂 When I lit the incense, a woman with a headscarf that looked kinda like how a friend who converted to Hare Krishna wears hers saw me and smiled sweetly before walking into the Literature, Science, and Arts building.

Then I *finally* got my PO Box –now people can send me things!

After that, I stopped at Sam’s, which was just across the street, and got a new bandana, waffled briefly between Purple or Spiderwebs, selected the Purple, and then went back across the street and to the parking structure office that now serves as the new Greyhound Bus ticket office and baggage check station. Obviously I got home safely, and I have made this post and shared these photos! I also have a couple photos for Galina that I forgot to take off the camera until just now, so I’ll do that after I hit “Publish”.

Other good and relevant news: Nigel’s paperwork came in today! I *knew* Priority Shipping was going to be a waste of money when the default was First Class Package! I was honestly expecting it a little later in the week, but now is good, too. Thank you, registermyserviceanimal.com! Now Nigel has a certificate (in my currently-legal and soon-to-be legal names!), an ID card for his carrier (ditto!), a collar tag that says “Emotional Support Animal”, and a little emergency kit, with a couple of window decals, key tags and wallet card, and a booklet for jotting down vet info and vaccine records. Thanks so much to those who donated and made this possible, now Nigel and i cannot legally be separated. 🙂Pic

That said, I’m still raising money for moving expenses! You can just straight-up buy my Ni-Ni a carrier or microchip, or donate toward any amount! Scott needs gas (and not the kind from burritos), I need rent, and it’s possible I’ll need a van rented. Things are looking more hopeful now than ever, I’m just waiting for the news from New Potential Roommate and the property management people to make it official!

//funds.gofundme.com/Widgetflex.swf

Follow every wave that traces my name

luna-moth-eye

I can hear the wild waves break
This island of bone
Below the swell the stars are waking
No matter how much I shake
i’m gonna find home
Though I’ve been overtaken
By the tides of the moon
I’m swimming against
The tides of moon
You’ll hear from me yet
I’ll get to you soon

Savage cities on my trail
Won’t leave me alone
Terrorize the song I’m veiling
Even though my arms are frail
I’m gonna find home
You know my faith ain’t failing
‘Lo the tides of moon
I’m swimming against
The tides of moon
I’ll get to you yet
You’ll hear from me soon

Follow every wave that traces my name
You know
That I have been detained
And I feel I could die

Swimming against
The tides of moon
You’ll hear from me yet
I’ll get to you soon
Swimming against
The tides of moon
You’ll hear from me yet
I’ll get to you
Get to you, oh…

Achlys: Not just a plot-point in a Red Dwarf eppie

So, before I get the Cool Kids on Patheos™ misinterpreting last night’s free-verse as evidence of latent Monism, let me explain a bit about that bit toward the end:

I’ve always like science. I’ve said as much here. I also believe that my attempts to reconstruct Cyrenaic Hedonism, especially when coupled with syncretising it with Empecoklean pluralism and Leucippus’/Democritus’ school of Atomism, this is highly compatible with the sciences, especially some of the more complex and “theoretical” stuff, especially with regards to the nature of knowledge.

Now, there’s a sci-fi/comedy BBC series I enjoy, Red Dwarf, and not just cos it’s a self-aware sausage party (in the first couple seasons, the fact that it’s a sausage party is actually relevant). At one point in the series, time-travel becomes intricately tied to the show’s plot arch, and there’s an episode that, while not especially plot-relevant in the course of the show, does lead up to some of the weirder things they do with time-travel, but it’s going to require some explanation, especially if you haven’t seen the show:

The universe is expanding. This is observable to people who study these things (and to the science-deniers, really, there’s nothing to be gained from making this up). Because the universe is expanding, this makes the Big Bang, where the universe began as a single, extremely dense and hot mass of particles especially compatible with the empirical data. Now, if one posits that all things that begin must end, even if only to cycle again, then one potential possibility for “the end of the universe” is the Big Crunch. Now, it’s unlikely to play out the way it did in Red Dwarf, but it’s a comedy, so of course they’re going to make it silly.

I reconcile this with pluralist faith and philosophy because when Khaos happened, She is essentially what held this mass of particleS, plural, into that dense mass before flipping the switch to disperse it, and with dispersing Her particles, all Gods that formed and bred and all currently-observable “physical” matter, as well. Thus, with that dispersal, Khaos shifted into Kosmos (who’s always struck me as more hermaphroditic or “pangendered” than “male”, as a few writers have envisioned Kosmos).

Achlys exists independent of Khaos/Kosmos, and both are especially impersonal, when it comes to humans, moreso than some deities –think, like, Lovecraftian “ancient horror” incomprehensible, something that we can only glimpse the tiniest fraction of when in a state resembling Madness, for if we see any more than that, it would break us, mentally. And where Achlys came from, and what may have caused Khaos to happen, are obviously more incomprehensible than that, since we don’t even have a name for it. Achlys, though, will eventually breathe Her toxic mist over The Kosmos, contracting Their form back to Khaos –the Big Crunch. We’re less than dust mites to Them; we’re just little bits of particles swirling and whirling and maybe we look pretty….

I don’t think this is an “eternal” end, I think it will simply begin another cycle. Like when a spool of reel-to-reel film ends and the projectionist rewinds it for the next screening, I think Khaos will pull back only to disperse again –only when that happens, the film might change, or maybe it’s all just the same nonsense, over and over again.

Now, are the gods deathless? Of course. The particles that became the gods are eternal and unchanging. The Theoi will always be what they are, no matter how many times Khaos becomes Kosmos, then Khaos again. And Kosmos is not some “godhead” or “One” or other divine unification principle; Kosmos is Kosmos, and Kosmos does what They do, and what Kosmos does is let the particles find the Order they see fit to have, and the particles that are or become the Theoi are simply immutable particles, no matter how often this cycles. They are immune to neither Big Bang nor Big Crunch, they are simply immune to being changed by it –assuming anything is changed by the Bigs. But even when Khaos is at Her densest possible state, think of Her like a basket of eggs packed tightly with a packing medium, like confetti –it’s not just one big cosmic egg of a cell laid by the Hen of Achlys, that will separate and become two cells and then a whole thing before it hatches, it’s a collection of “eggs” that will eventually form entire structures that will hatch and breed with each-other, or form other structures with the medium that previously kept the eggs tight in the basket. And when Kosmos returns to Khaos, it’s, well, like the Red Dwarf eppie, it’s like the chicken de-aging and going back to chicks, and then back into a single cell in an egg.

The closest thing Khaos will ever be to One is the backet of eggs held in tightly with a backing medium –if you look at it from a certain angle, it’s a solid, One, thing, but if you look at it closer, you see pieces — you see the weave of the basket wicker, you see the eggs, you see the packing medium.

Achlys and Khaos/Kosmos are the closest thing i can think of that I regard as Divine, but not necessarily “Theoi” in the same way as Eros or even Nyx, but also as certainly much more that the Earth-bound Divine entities, like nymphai and Heroes, etc…. “Energies” is a decent way to describe Them, but I suspect it’s a more complex sort of energy than even physicists of any sort can comprehend. And because they are so complex and impersonal, and barely even think about us the way a biologist might think about atoms, I find it fruitless to offer worship to Them, especially in the form of setting up a shrine or writing prayers to be performed regularly, because it’s not something that will even register to Them.

Nyx is the oldest and strangest Deity I worship. She’s the oldest and strangest that any human can comprehend, and even then, it’s likely that not everyone can, and doubly likely that no-one should want to.

…but that’s another story for another time. In the meantime, here’s something a little less incomprehensible:

Last Minute Call for Submissions!

Hello!

I’m about to put the finishing touches on the first volume of my annual anthology, Nocturnal Spirits. I’d like to build up some of the poetry and prose pieces, so in addition to my own, it would be nice to see some pieces from others. I’ve already got permission from PSVL to featur eir “To Nyx” (and I’ll be sending e the form I’ve been collecting esigs on, before I go to bed –wrote a note on the back of my hand and everything), and I’ve got a lot of my own work (including stuff my long-time readers have never seen).

Pieces about or to deities would be wonderful, and if you have an essay you think would be great to include, I may also consider it.

If you can get me something by 30 June 2014, that would be ideal –I want this out by the first week of August, so I will only extend the deadline if you’ve already spoken with me.

I am looking for poetry, prose (re-written or new mythology), on or for the following deities, spirits, animals, etc… (but I may consider others, if I think your writing style compliments the anthology):

Nyx
Eros
Psykhe
Hedone
Hekate
Persephone
Hades
Thanatos
Selene
Asterea
Achelois
Phoebe
spider
scarab
crow
raven
vulture

Off the top of my head, I will accept essays on the following topics:
* Mediterranean / Near Eastern lunar gods (rather than goddesses –Tess Dawson, you there? 🙂
* the ankh in ancient and modern culture –Edward Butler has submitted a wonderful piece o the Eye of Horus, but I’m still hoping for an ankh piece for the first volume

Also, I’m going to ask a couple people I know about, but if you make or wear bone jewellery, ESPECIALLY if you’re also into “dark / witch mori” fashion, I’m writing a piece about pagan/folklore/fairytale/spiritual influences that I’ve noticed in said, but I’d love to improve the piece with some Q&A I can refer back to.

Illustrations and photos submitted will also be greatly appreciated.

As always, the Nocturnal Spirits email is: nocturnal.spirit@hotmail.co.uk

I know I haven’t been making regular calls for submissions, but I’ve been busy working on my own original pieces, and also playing with half a dozen cover concepts, but I keep coming back to my own Nyx painting, so fuck it, that’s the cover.

I’m also hoping to expand the Nocturnal Spirits concept into a regular column/feature BUT separate from Of Thespiae. I’ve already inquired at one community blog, but it’s been a few days and they haven’t gotten back to me, and even before the animosity built between Christine Hoff Kraemer and certain associates (plus myself), I probably would have had Patheos on the bottom of my list to shop it around to, anyway. What’s the news on this “Polytheist Square” (my own nickname, probably not the actual working title) community blog I heard some people talking about? Would it be worth asking at The Wild Hunt? (I know JP-W made me an offer after I made that Wild Fail post ages back, but I was too busy and unfocused to take him up on it, at the time; I hear Heather Greene is in charge, now?)