Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dionysos in the Woods

It was the 30th anniversary of my birth, a new moon, and a solar eclipse (albeit not visible in this part of the world) all in one day.  It seemed like an auspicious time to follow an oracle from Dionysos to "go to the forest."
I went alone, to an area whose energy is dear and familiar to me, though finding a place where I might have some solitude without hiking too much was difficult.  I had precious little daylight to work with by the time I reached the place, since this was only a day trip.  I settled on a place not far from the road but out of sight, with a steep hill next to a creek.  Offerings in tow, I hiked down, over the water and then up.  My plan was to get over the hill or to the top of the hill, but this proved impossible.  It was steeper than I thought, and my step was still unsteady from my still-healing foot.  
A little more than halfway up the hill I had to stop.  Left with little choice, I picked the oldest, most impressive looking pine tree in the immediate vicinity and sat with my back to it and the creek so I would not slide down.  The sun and I were in just the right position for me to see all the normally invisible, now illuminated, strands of spider webbing in the trees and brush before me.  On the rising ground in front of me I fashioned an altar from a piece of tree trunk and put forth the various offerings I had been told to bring: eggs, a phallos, wine, flowers. And for my head, a crown that I fashioned of floral lights and ivy for an Ariadne costume a couple years ago, that has since had a permanent place on my shrine.  The sensation of gravity pushing me into the support of the old tree, with the sharply rising ground and the setting sun in front of me, was a strange one.  But I felt secure and secluded.
I called on Dionysos.  I immediately felt the fullness of this place--just how much is going on both visible and invisibly, in constant vibration.  I poured out wine to Him, drank wine, shared wine.  Later that night, I wrote about my experience:
Dionysos is the god of nowness, the god of this moment. Nature itself is vibrating, breathing, exploding, ecstatic with energy all the time. He is not just the next time you drink wine or the next time you dance, he is the intense and tragic-wonderful experience of being alive NOW that is simply waiting for your awareness. What is your greatest joy and your greatest sorrow right now?  He is in both.
I smoked a little leaf of diviner's sage.  I sensed the vastness behind the nature I knew, the death behind the life.  There was a glimmer of fear, but only a glimmer reserved for the unknown, for the overwhelming idea of "void".  But that only pushed me more into a feeling of deep love.  Somewhere around this time, I realized that I'd been digging my fingers into the soft soil and squeezing it through my fingers, over and over and over, with all this love and sorrow pouring through me.
Myself as a priestess of now, of the present moment. Overwhelming love for this earth, its physicality, its dimension and sensations and beauty. This is why I am a Dionysian, why I would be a Bodhisattva -- I would wish always to return to this. 
Dionysos' associations with nymphs, with nature, and with death all coalesced into this sudden, half-drunk idea that some nymphs are simply maenads who wished to remain forever connected with the wild places they love, who were granted this by the god they love.  
I stayed as long as I could, until it started getting dark and shivering cold.  I ate at a raw food restaurant in town to ground myself before heading home.

Worth mentioning is that while I was there, I also had this intuitive tickle that there's something I need to explore more deeply in the future regarding the relationship between Ariadne and Dionysos and their complementary roles.  (I don't like that last phrase but I'm having a hard time putting it better.)  Synchronistically, earlier in the day I had stopped very briefly at a new age shop before heading farther north, picked up a single pagan book, and randomly flipped it open to a section on Ariadne.  I have also recently changed my Aphrodite shrine to be a shrine to Ariadne-Aphrodite--but more on that later.
[My thanks to Sannion for being the vessel for the oracle that prompted this trip.]

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dionysia in the Desert

 It was pointed out to me that the First Annual Dionysia in the Desert Street Festival is planned for this December in Tucson, Arizona!  
"The goal of the event is to highlight the local Arizona economy through artists, performers, vendors, and sponsors from all over the state of Arizona while as they help raise funds that will support community developed and managed education programs that serve as supplemental alternatives to the current programs whose funds are drastically being depleted by our state leadership."

And from their Facebook event page:  "Come join us in this effort as we re-create the atmosphere of ancient Greece and Rome with a modern day feel and decompress our modern day cares and worries away with four stages, street shows, interactive art, a barter and trading village, beer and wine from our own brewers and vintner, and much much more!"

It is a fundraiser event put on by an organization called The Foundation of L.I.F.E. (Limitless Ideas for a Free Environment).  I'm not familiar with them, but it appears to be a worthwhile organization.  Their website defines them as a "charitable, educational, non-profit foundation...with the purpose of teaching people to love themselves, to love others, and to love the planet.  It represents Arizona citizens who are concerned with the direction that the economic and political structure in the U.S. has taken in terms of limiting the ideas, liberties, and freedoms of individuals, which has resulted in the abuse of human rights throughout the world and in the abuse of global resources."  They also add that they support not only local interests of Arizonans, but also "the interests of 'Gaia'".

Tucson isn't too far from me, and I'd love to go down there to show my support, but due to holiday plans with my family, I won't be able to unless they change their tentative date.  Nevertheless, very cool to see something this big being planned in the name of Dionysos!   Hopefully it will be successful enough to become an annual event.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Heart-joined & Hand-fasted

On September 9th I married my partner, true love and soul-mate.
I don't say soul-mate lightly.  I remember well an unexpected, overwhelming feeling of epiphany one day, so strong that I wept, that in my love for him and the subsequent choices I made, I had fulfilled something karmic.  And every day that I wake up next to him or see him smile, I know how incredibly lucky we are.
He asked me to marry him in February, on a devotional day to Aphrodite (though he did not know the day's significance at the time). 
Our legal marriage on the 9th was a simple affair at the court, but was just the first.  Our wedding is three-fold.  The 2nd was a private ceremony in the woods on the Autumn Equinox, and the 3rd (which was last weekend) was a public rite and reception for friends and family.  Doing it three times wasn't our original plan, but developed over time as we searched for ways to incorporate everything most important to us without compromising anything.  I've come to see it as binding on the physical, spiritual and mental planes, respectively.
Because of him, I became and continue to become more spiritual, and a better person, and closer to Dionysos.  These were not his intentions of course, but simply the side-effects -- of falling in love, of learning selflessness, of being torn apart and put back together, of riding the ecstatic highs and devastating lows.  (For our road was not always easy.)  He is Dionysian in his particular beauty, creativity, trickster nature, and all the ways he's liberated me.  Even his last name which I have chosen to share has Dionysian qualities.  Did I come to love Dionysos more because of him or him more because of Dionysos?  Such a question needs no answer.
And though I tend to search for definition, his own spirituality defies definition, is fluid and shamanic and highly personal.  I learn much from him though he would probably not call himself a teacher.  Sometimes I still marvel at the depth of conversation we are able to achieve about abstract things, particularly spirituality.  It's as if our similar viewpoints combined with our inherent understanding of each other can bridge the gaps when we reach things that are hard to explain in words.  We have been known to share dreams -- something we are still exploring, and which I have never had with anyone.
We both met in the shake up of our Saturn returns, and getting married feels like the resolution to that era.  Together we redefined ourselves, and now the future seems even more full of possibility. 
(And I have to add that during our wedding reception this past weekend, I was finally able to dance again - after over 2 months of recovering from a broken foot!)

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Last night I dreamt that I was supposed to be leading a Dionysian ritual.  Like most dreams where I'm supposed to perform in some way, I felt unprepared.  There was a small group of people slowly gathering (people that are strangers to me in real life).  The indoor circle space was beautiful and prepped, but I still felt like I wasn't sure what I was going to do or how I was going to make this a special ritual.  I was delaying and telling myself I needed last minute supplies (my flying ointment was one of them).  And somehow in the midst of that the idea of doing a ritual seemed to fade... And then I was in a garden at night.  It was absolutely beautiful, a ritual space of its own, and everything seemed to glow.  I looked up to a high stone wall to my right (perhaps 2 or 3 stories high) that was covered in vines.  I was staring at this figure of Dionysos in the vines, admiring how his image had been formed from them and perhaps from the shape of the stones?  I said to a male stranger next to me, "Do you see him?"  And before he even spoke to say he didn't, or to say anything at all, the image of Dionysos faded, as if it was just the matrixing of my own vision that made him so clear to me a moment before.  A message only for me, or a trick of sight?

Life has been rather hectic, but I feel that dream kind of sums up where I am spiritually at the moment, even in its ambiguity.  Will blog more soon.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

There Is No "i" in Beltane, Except When There Is

I read an article on by Galina Krasskova about Beltane, where she suggests that Beltane reminds us to honor our physical bodies, to see the sacredness and beauty of our bodies and the experiences they give us.  She asks, "How many of us can look in the mirror and say 'I love my physical form' and mean it?"  That exercise is not new, by any means.  And I was glossing over it a bit at first -- yes yes, self-esteem and self-love and all that -- but the part of me that's been trying to witness my own thought processes and reactions more lately made me stop.  Because somewhere in my glossing over it was this feeling of, "Sure, I can do that exercise.  But I'd rather do it later on, down the road, when I've lost a little weight."
Which is, of course, so NOT the point that it's the antithesis of the point. 
It made me start thinking of the ways we put conditions on things.  From the "I'll feel sexier when I've lost a few pounds" all the way down to "I'll be happy when [insert your happy thing of choice]".  And for me, there was some initial internal resistance to the idea of letting those conditions go.  As if I wouldn't have control of the things I wish to change anymore, or my sense of the ideal version of me would be lost.  But really, there is no ideal version of me "out there", or in the future or past.  I know I *can* love my physical form now, but in short, I've chosen not to.  And it is a choice even when it's an unconscious one.  Just like choosing to be happy.
As pagans, we strive to be close to nature, to earth's cycles, to the physical manifestations of the divine around us.  That manifestation isn't pristine or flawless or homogenized.  The fact is, we are one of many imperfect animals that sweat, rut, consume, defecate, and eventually decay and die.  We are no less sacred in whatever form we currently are.  As Galina says more eloquently:
"...each physical vessel of incarnation is intimately connected to one's soul, an integral part of it. We're incarnate for a reason. Our bodies are the tools and conduits by and through which we experience everything, including the Divine. Moreover, they may even be the way the Gods experience us, spirituality being, like so many things, a two-way street. Far from needing to escape from the flesh, Beltane reminds us that there's an awful lot of wisdom inherent in being in the flesh too."
So I'm going to make more of an effort to "be" in my own skin, to love this body -- hand tremors, osteoporosis, curves and all other supposed imperfections -- it IS beautiful.  I think a lot of people I know who struggle physically more than I (ie have legitimate pain or health issus) would say that I am lucky, that I'm pretty and don't have major problems, so it should be easy for me.  (The implication that it should be easier for me than it is for them.)  But that's just another condition, and I think that is a tendency we ALL have.  A knee-jerk reaction to the radical surrender of allowing ourselves to be perfect in the now.  I think that when we feel, and more importantly when we *embody* gratitude, that we would actually begin to move easier in our own bodies.  There's no "been there, done that" when it comes to love or self-love because it's both eternal and ongoing.  I'm sure Aphrodite would have much to teach me about all this.
Sorry for getting all "Power of Now".  Back to your regularly scheduled internal dialogues... (Dialogues?  Monologues?  How many people are in this head anyway?) 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Greenery & Gifts

Since I haven't written much lately, figured I'd do some general catching up.  (Courtesy of Mercury's backwards dance!)  Hopefully I'll be back on track with some more spiritual musings and experiences soon. 


Here is a small treasure that my lover spotted while we were in an antique store!!  It's most definitely Dionysos, with a male youth on one side and a woman/maenad on the other.  It's handpainted porcelain, made in Greece.  I haven't decided yet what Io keep in it, perhaps loose incense.

Here is an ivy plant that I bought for Dionysos!  Isn't it lovely?

It will have to stay in its pot since all we've got is a 2nd story patio -- no yard.  Thinking about getting a trellis though.  Today we bought some potted herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, chocolate mint, lavender).  Eventually I would like to add some more exotic ones like salvia divinorum.  Needless to say, I've definitely got a metaphorical bug for wanting to grow things lately.  I've always wanted to garden and keep plants, but for whatever reason I've always felt like I was inherently bad at it.  But my partner has been encouraging and enthusiastic (and is also much more knowledgeable about such things, which helps!) so I feel like together we'll do just fine.

And here is a cat skull that we found while night-hiking in the river wash!

It was eerie, how it was just suddenly *directly* in our path in the light of our headlamps, eye sockets looking right at us!  Neither of us has every found a skull while walking in the desert, so it seems significant.  It is now sitting in the ivy plant pot until we decide how we want to clean it.
It's been a strange spring so far.  One day at the Renaissance festival we were sun-exhausted and sweating from a sudden heat wave, and the very next weekend at the desert botanical gardens it was shiveringly cold and we eventually got rained out!  But the botanical gardens were lovely nonetheless, it was certainly not a wasted trip.  Here are some pictures...

Sorry the last one is blurry, but it was raining by then.  I had to include because it was one of my favorite discoveries there - it's a Boojum tree!!  I <3 any botanist who names a tree after a word in a Lewis Carroll poem.

I got a couple books from the library about desert plants and trees.  I'm interested in the medicinal qualities and identifying things, but also how I might find out the magickal properties of certain plants.  I think I can gather clues from the plant's appearance, behavior and biological qualities, but beyond that it will have to be intuitive and/or communicating with the spirit of the plant itself.  Any plant folklore that might exist would belong to the Native Americans, and that is extremely limited and hard to find given that it's not typically written down.
We recently re-arranged our apartment -- added some furniture, made a definite "music" space where other people might see "dining room".  (Not that we have a dining table anyhow -- piano and organ, however, different story!)  One result of all the moving around was finding new places for shrines.  So now Dionysos' shrine is lower to the ground (a plus), and the slightest bit smaller but with more useable wall space.  Aphrodite has a much bigger space, now eye level.  Can't be burning any big candles on it since it's mid-book shelf, but it looks much nicer.  I no longer have a permanent "working" altar, but to be honest that was just getting cluttered most of the time.  There is a potential shrine space on a shelf next to the front door.  I'm still ruminating what I'd like to see there.  Something eclectic, combining our other totems and deities not otherwise represented, perhaps?
This Mercury in retrograde has been a nuisance with little delays and things breaking down.  (Even including a major miscommunicaiton with the cats, which was a new one on me!)  But I'm trying not to let the little things get to me, and I've been pretty successful.  The word "try" is misleading, because it's more a feeling of release and acceptance.  But even a coworker commented on my attitude when I admitted I had broken 2 things that day, "'re pretty zen about it!"  Which probably means the book I'm reading for my pagan book group, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, is sinking in a bit.  It's something I probably would have passed on as new age fluff had the book group not chosen it, but as a self-admitted "worrier", I've found a few valuable things in it so far.

It seems like a very long time since I've been dancing, which might be why Dionysos feels more distant.  Something to remedy, or else do some other work with him if that is not possible.  I may do a Beltane celebration.  Though I haven't settled on any details, I like the idea of blessing our new plants and such at the least.  That will be closely followed by Alice in Wonderland Day.  (Thank you to Dver for that marvelous idea, which I have been wanting to incorporate into my celebrations for a couple years now but will be doing for the first time this year!)  Since my best friend threw me an Alice-themed tea party for my birthday last year, I already have some nice props and decorations.

I think that's it... I'll end with this rather funny headline I read the other day:  Well-Endowed Apollo Statue to be Re-Erected in France.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


I just finished reading a book called "Living the Magical Life: An Oracular Adventure" by Suzi Gablik.  It's one of those "one woman's spiritual journey" books, yet I was excited to read it based on its promised content... oracle work, embracing daily synchronicities, becoming suddenly drawn to and close to a specific deity (in her case, the Black Madonna.) 
Unfortunately, the book didn't have the depth I was hoping for.  The middle-aged author builds an altar to the Black Madonna and visits her statues in foreign places but does not detail any very noteworthy interactions with her as a deity - and almost ignores her entirely for the last half of the book.  She uses I-Ching and bibliomancy which, although certainly valid forms of divination, are not what I'd consider "oracular".  The book is a disjointed account of her doubts and affirmations regarding whether life is meaningfully synchronistic, interconnected and guided by outside forces or simply random.  She describes years of following divination and omens which tell her to hold out hope for a specific romantic relationship, despite all outward evidence that this particular person was entirely disinterested.  The book ends with the romantic interest rebuffing her once and for all and the author ends saying that the outcome does not nullify her experiences.  Basically, "Who knows why things happen the way they do? This is my story, take it or leave it."
It brings up the whole question of whether or not the gods/spirits/PTB would be intentionally misleading or even blatantly lie in order to further our spiritual development.  The author doesn't tackle this issue, having decided on a tenuous position of blind faith, and certainly seemed to think she emerged a stronger person.  But still, I wonder.  Certainly the gods themselves are ineffable and may mislead for reasons we can't comprehend at the time, but I like to think that divination in general is about revealing patterns.  Was she then not reading a reality pattern but the pattern of her own psyche, which wasn't ready to give up no matter what her divinations revealed?  I think that's why I have a hard time reading tarot for myself -- especially when I'm really emotionally invested.  I feel like I'm reading what I want.  Which is *a* truth, but not the truth I'm usually aiming for.
But this book about synchronicities actually seemed to be, well, synchronistic.  It made me stop and take note of omens that have been appearing in my own life.  Oddly, it even referenced a couple very specific things -- including redwood trees, a topic which I just read an entire book about and which seems to keep coming up, and a book by C.S. Lewis that a friend just gave me to borrow.  Even in the ways the book was lacking and irritating me reminded me of my own shortcomings and what I want to strive for in my spiritual practice. 
So, time not entirely wasted.  Now I just need to figure out why the trees are trying to get my attention.  Maybe I should just ask them?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

All the wine is all for me

I'm put together beautifully
Big wet bottle in my fist, big wet rose in my teeth
I'm perfect piece of ass
Like every Californian
So tall I take over the street, with highbeams shining on my back
A wingspan unbelievable
I'm a festival, I'm a parade

And all the wine is all for me

And all the wine is all for me
And all the wine is all for me

I'm a birthday candle in a circle of black girls

God is on my side
Cuz I'm the child bride
I'm so sorry but the motorcade will have to go around me this time
Cuz God is on my side
And I'm the child bride

And all the wine is all for me

And all the wine is all for me
And all the wine is all for me

I carry the dollhouse, safe on my shoulders

Through the black city, night lights are on in the corners
And everyone's sleeping upstairs
All safe and sound
All safe and sound, I won't the let psychos around
All safe and sound, I won't let the psychos around

I'm in a state, I'm in a state

Nothing can touch us my love
I'm in a state, I'm in a state
Nothing can touch us my love

Spring & Synchronous Celebrations

The Wild Hunt has posted a blog today about the misconception in the pagan community that St. Patrick drove the pagans out of Ireland.  I must admit, I held to this belief from wherever I heard it in my spiritually-formative years, and am embarrassed I hadn't questioned it until now.  I could never really get my ire up about St. Patrick's Day anyway, though, because it is so obviously NOT a celebration of the saint nowadays.  It's a celebration of the Irish culture and most of all, drunkenness.  Which makes it more Dionysian than Christian in my book!

I played fiddle in a Celtic band the last couple St. Patrick's Days.  That and my studies of Irish music give me some mixed feelings about the day.  On one hand, I have a soft spot for the culture and traditional music.  On the other hand, St. Patrick's Day was insane and exhausting.  I'm rather relieved to be gig-free today.  I hoping to go dancing somewhere in the evening, somewhere that will not be decked in shamrocks and playing jigs, but somewhere where we can have a casual good time in honor of the Liberalia AND my devotional day to Dionysos.

We are also smack in the middle of the week long City Dionysia as celebrated in Athens, which I didn't realize until last week.  So with little notice but much enthusiasm, Saturday we will be having a few friends over for a film and food festival.  A good friend and fellow Dionysian is planning to make all sorts of Greek and decadent foods.  My partner and I are going to attempt a baklava pie, amongst other things.  I am looking forward to it!

I have been rather distracted the last month, spiritually speaking.  I am really feeling the spring itch to clean, re-organize and refocus.  Even though it's not the equinox yet, it's already spring by my personal reckoning, as of March 9th.  That was the first day I could smell the orange blossoms!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dionysos and Dreams

I was drawn to Dionysos long before I had the courage to take any action to really connect with him, even to pray to him.  Ten years ago, in fact, the interest goes back.  And I'd say that I started with some very hesitant prayers only about 4 years ago.  The impetus and reasons are a long story, but suffice it to say that the first ways he answered those prayers were in dreams.

Honestly, I have no idea if he communicates this way with others, or if there's sources to back it up... but I would not be surprised if there were.  Or do all gods communicate this way at some point or another?  It seems the natural way to get someone's attention, particular if they aren't attentive in other ways, spiritually or psychically speaking.

But anyway, I thought I would post this dream.  I was reminded of it while conversing with my partner and went looking in my dream journal for it.  He had a similar dream experience with a guide or divinity - where the message was not able to be translated into the waking world - and it made me think that this is not the fault of the dreamer or one's memory, but simply how it is with these types of messages.  "You can't take it with you."  Either it is for your subconscious only and you do not need to know it consciously, or it simply cannot be translated from the dream world to the waking world, much like an epiphany in a psychedelic experience.  You may remember pieces, or more likely how it made you feel, but the bone deep *knowing*?  It's still in your bones, but there are no words.

He hasn't communicated with me in this way lately, but I feel like it is something I could pursue or request in a ritual fashion, and perhaps I will in the future.

I copied and pasted this directly from my dream journal.  It is from April 29th, 2009.

Dreamed that I was staying with a group of women at a house or spiritual retreat.  It felt like a cross between a coven and a small school or teaching group.  I felt like I was fairly new there, and still getting to know everyone. All of the women were pretty young, including the woman everyone deferred to as the leader or teacher.  I remember all of us gathered in a living room, and the teacher was taking input and requests and just general status of everyone.  (The most I can recall specifically is that one of the girls asked for a firecracker for an outdoor prayer ceremony.)  At one point, the teacher telekinetically drew what looked like a red candle to her.  (It didn't float, but more like a strong burst of energy had tossed it towards her.)  I said that I wanted to learn how to do that.  (Slight sense of feeling like I was "behind", like this was something I could be doing too if I'd been more dedicated.)  At this point, I turned my attention to the closest object, which appeared to be a bag of food (dog food maybe?).  I focused on it and reached out my hand towards it, but sitting several feet away.  I felt focused, feeling energized, on the verge of something.  My first couple attempts didn't work, but I could hear a female (inner?) voice in my head directing me what to do, how to bridge to gap with the energy, and using the motion of my arm as if I was grabbing it (to release the energy), it suddenly lurched off the shelf.  I was absolutely thrilled.  I went up to the bedroom I was staying in, and thought about how I should text _____ and _____ about it.  (With the sense that this was a retreat, and that I was staying here for a certain length of time and would not be seeing them soon.)

I was wandering in a backyard later, and there was an open section of fence where the yard met with the neighbor's.  Laying along this in-between section were three or four black dogs, one particularly smaller than the others.  They were all fast asleep even when I was standing right next to them.  I reached down to touch one of them, and only as I did it did I realize it might not be a great idea.  But although a couple of them startled awake, nothing bad happened.  It seemed that they might be neglected.

In another part of the dream, a group of us from the house were going to a club or event.  We were all dressed up, colorful and mardi gras-ish.  We were standing outside getting ready to go in, and the teacher was talking to everyone.  It was at this point that I realized that they were all transvestites, all actually men dressed as women.  I was not bothered, but did feel a mild sense of surprise ("How did I not notice before?") as I studied their features.  They were all pretty and quite feminine, but still noticeably not women if I looked carefully.

(Upon waking, these parts of the dreams are what I was remembering, and thinking to myself that they seemed rather Dionysian - particular the cross dressing and perhaps the rest as a message to focus more on my spiritual path - at which point I suddenly remembered the last part of the dream.)

We were inside the club and talking and drinking. I remembering seeing an image of myself wearing an elaborate layered skirt - light, maybe cream colored - composed of a multitude of square or rectangular patches of material, and a top that resembled one I own IRL. (sleeveless, low cut - white, cream, lacy with flower designs).  As I type this, I just realized what the skirt reminds me of - the skirt of the Cretan snake goddess!  In the dream, I separate from the rest of the group and go to the restroom.  While there, a boy comes in.  I know he is Dionysos or else he tells me so.  He is wearing all one color, a bright green - he seems young, younger than I would expect, maybe 18 or so.  He is very thin, dark haired.  Other than that, his features elude me.  He went on talking to me animatedly, and I remember being very excited with what he was saying - feeling special perhaps.  But I can not remember any of it upon waking, not a single word.  Our discussion was interrupted by someone else coming into the restroom, and he was gone.  I remember thinking that if the person had overheard, they would assume I was talking to myself, and probably would not have seen the god when he was there.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Khutroi - Anthesteria Day 3

It rained off and on, mostly while we were sleeping.  When we went to the cemetery everything was wet, and the clouds seemed close, ominous and beautiful.  While we were there, only a couple cars came and went but for the most part we were completely alone, which seemed odd for a Saturday. 

We walked around, looked at placques and grave markers, smiling and noting the different phrases and symbols people choose to memorialize each other.  We talked about families, death, trees, and the past...  The trees, particularly, I was drawn to.  They seemed like the guardians and sentinels of the dead.  There were several that are not as common here, including many lovely olive trees, and it made me realize that these trees had to have been deliberately placed for their associations, meaning and folklore, something which I hadn't considered before.  There were some pines here and there, and some rosemary and rose bushes around a marble tomb.  Many others we didn't recognize but wished we did.  I resolved to learn more about native plants and trees.

We poured out milk and honey offerings, and I left out some coffee cake under a hedgerow.  We read a beautiful modern translation of the Orphic hymn to Hermes.  We both noticed the strangeness of the birds, which only started singing when the sun went down.

Went and visited my family later since there were a couple birthdays to observe, but my mood was subdued and I didn't enjoy myself as much as I usually would.  My sister and brother in law wanted tarot readings, and I obliged, but felt "off". 

I felt a little better when I went home because I was able to take a bath and smudge and asperge the apartment.  I used creosote again -- put some in my bath, used a branch of it to sprinkle the saltwater, and hung sprigs at the doors.  Keres thus banished, I took down the temporary altar.  My usual Dionysos shrine is a bit transformed for having the mask on it though... a good reminder of Anthesteria.


This is a wonderful and complex festival, and I definitely see myself continuing to celebrate Anthesteria next year and in future years.  I can see how it would be a little different every year.  (And a big thank you to Sannion whose resources, writing and enthusiasm for the festival were all instrumental.)

Although I moved my observance of Anthesteria so that it centered on the full moon rather than the traditional days for practical reasons, this felt right to me... I like the full moon energy being mixed with the Aiora and the hieros gamos.  I may do it that way next time, too, depending on what is possible with my work schedule. 

I think about resolutions I've made in years past to try and observe all the Wiccan sabbats, where I'd fail every time, and I've realized that this is less a personal failing than simply because the sabbats themselves (Yule and Samhain aside) are not personal to me.  Which isn't to say you can't make them personal, but it was always something I had trouble with, especially with the desert seasons being different.  So this has been a good first step in me really creating festivals and seasonal observances that make sense to me.  Another goal for this year is to create a festival honoring the beginning of the monsoon season -- I am excited for this!

And lastly, not so much an afterthought, but an afterfeeling... a sense of amazement and awe for this God, who IS the God Who Comes, who can be so vividly and startling PRESENT.  Hail Dionysos!

Khoes & Aiora - Anthesteria Day 2

After waking and showering, I did my opening ritual and meditation in silence.  I was feeling rather anxious and apprehensive about the whole day - not only the prospect of not speaking until my night ritual, but also about the night ritual itself. 
Using yarn and some twigs I had gathered the day before, I made 3 little yarn dolls in honor of Erigone -- one black, one red, one white.  Each one turned out quite different.  I would have liked to have made more, but I wanted to get to the park before sundown. 

My partner came with me to the park to go swinging.  I chose to go to the park next to the house where I grew up.  Though only a half hour or so from my current home, it had been a while since I'd been to the area and it always feels odd to see the things that have changed and the things that have stayed the same.  I was happy to see all the familiar trees in the park, and sad to see that all the trees I'd known at the house I grew up were gone. 

When we first got there, there was a large flock of birds swooping around the western sky.  There were a couple groups of teenagers in the park but none on the swings.  We put on some flying ointment and spent some time swinging.  The sky was overcast and although we felt a drop or two of rain, it never rained outright.  I had a hard time focusing, so I just tried to pay attention to the sensation of swinging, particularly with my eyes closed.  I smoked a clove cigarette and we passed the wine back and forth a couple times.  Not speaking started making me feel like I was occupying a slightly different space than everyone else.

We walked around the park so I could look for trees to hang the red and black dolls.  (The white one I kept and later hung in the tree outside my apartment.)  I had left a long string of yarn on each, which came in handy because I wanted to get them to branches above arm's reach.  I had to literally swing them back and forth to get enough momentum to get them over the branch.  This took a few tries for each.  At one point, I dropped one and as a reached down I saw that it had fallen next to a dead bird which I hadn't seen until that point, which was a little disconcerting. 

I wasn't quite ready to leave yet, so we sat in the middle of a field (what felt like "center" to me) and faced west where the last of the sunlight was fading.  We spent some time quietly sensing the energy of each other and the earth beneath us.  I wouldn't have been surprised to see ghosts walking around in the fading light.

Later that evening after dinner, I made preparations for my ritual.  I sequestered myself, I stared into the eyes of the mask I had made, used my voice for the first time that day to call forth the god, and performed my version the hieros gamos.  And without going into more detail or trying to describe or what should only be described in poetry, if anything, for now I'll just say...

Holy fuck.

I was in a daze for a little while afterwards, time and memory playing tricks on me, and even though it was only around midnight, I ended up laying down for about 3 hours of sleep, and then suddenly waking up very alert.  I played a computer game for a while, read and recovered, then went back to sleep at 9:30 or so.  I journaled some notes for myself at some point, too, thank goodness, because even glancing back now it's amazing how easily those truer moments slip away.

Pithoigia - Anthesteria Day 1

All 3 days included preparations in the afternoon, and outing that crossed over into twilight and sunset, and then further activities in the evening.  I work a graveyard shift and keep my hours the same on my days off, so this was logical.  But even aside from that, it seemed very appropriate to be out in the twilight each day, for a festival that includes light and dark and haunting elements.  Also, it has always been my favorite time for its beauty and surreal in-betweenness.

I set up a two-tiered temporary altar for the festival.  I do not have a Dionysos statue yet, so I printed out several images.  One of Dionysos framed on the altar, and another 2 Anthesteria-themed images taped in front -- one of the Aiora with a man pushing a woman on a swing, and another of the procession of Dionysos' ship pulled on wheels.  All the wine was on the floor along the bottom.  Most of the time there were white, black and red candles burning as well as the oil lamp flame.


My partner joined me for most of the festival, which was wonderful.  Though not a devotee of Dionysos, per se, he certainly has much respect and appreciation for him.  That I can share personal aspects of my spiritual life with him is one of the reasons I love him so much.

The opening invocation was spontaneous, and much more powerful than I anticipated.  Impromptu ritual often makes me nervous, sometimes even when alone.  But that was, if anything, a reason that I challenged myself to do it.  I can't even remember all of what I said, but the god's presence was strong throughout.  But after the invocation itself, I thanked him for blessings in the past year, I asked him to bless the wine and poured the first portion out to him, and read a couple hymns aloud.

With bottles of water and wine, we then went walking in the area around my apartment complex.  Despite the freeway being close by, there is a river wash and a large bridge recently built over it.  A park area and ramada are all in the process of being built there, too, and I'd been wanting to explore it all.  We gathered some wildflowers on the way and ran into several groups of quail.  (Birds were a theme throughout the whole festival.)

One of my goals was to collect some creosote branches.  Buckthorn, though traditional to Anthesteria, is not something I expected to find easily in the Southwest desert.  But in thinking of the land and plants I WAS familiar with, it occurred to me that Creosote (also called Chapparal) also has medicinal associations of being cleansing and detoxifying.  (Interestingly, a ring of creosote in the Mojave desert is said to be one of the oldest living organisms on earth. It is a formidable plant!)  It is significant to the desert seasons, too, because of the familiar scent it releases during the rains, and I've always loved it for that reason.  Rain and the smell of rain are rare pleasures here. 

I had faith we'd run into some eventually.  Amusingly, my partner could smell it nearby before we could see it.  This time of year the creosote is greener than usual but not budding just yet.  We poured out some wine to the plant while I collected some green sprigs and my partner picked out some larger, fallen branches to see if they would lend themselves to wand-making.

It got dark quickly, but there was moonlight and streetlights along and underneath the bridge.  I can't really explain why I love the bridge so much.  It's just... bridgey!  It's a very modern construction, but it's so *between*.  You could walk across it OR underneath it, and particularly underneath you get a very sudden sense of *other*.  Visually, the whole little area is an interesting collision of city and desert that seems it would be a good area for magic-working.  I forgot to get pictures there, but I will sometime in the future.

The mood was both fun and reverent.  We kept the wine flowing, and later in the evening we feasted on assorted fruits and foods, including a leg of lamb that I had cooked in the slow cooker.  Yum!  We then settled down to our "crafts" for the evening while listening to music.  My partner worked on his creosote wand, while I began making my Dionysos mask. 

While camping earlier in the month, I had found a tree that was shedding large pieces of bark, and I had taken a couple of these with the intent of making a mask.  It wasn't one I was intending to wear, so the weight of it was not a concern.  But I really liked the idea of a piece of tree becoming the face of the god.  Otto's Dionysos: Myth and Cult was a huge inspiration here, not only in my understanding of masks (and trees) in the cult of the god, but I also used one of the vase images in the book for the design.  I wanted it to be more abstract than life-like, so it worked perfectly, though I may make a life-like one eventually.  I painted the inner side with black and gold acrylic paint.  Technically if you held it up to your face, the face of the god would be touching your face and the bark of the tree would be facing out.  I was very happy with the final result. 

While we were crafting, we also drank a special bottle of local wine we'd gotten from Jerome (on a devotional day in December when we'd gone wine tasting).  Before passing out, we ended the evening by watching Eddie Izzard.  I had forgotten how many jokes he makes about Greek mythology!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Song for Khutroi

This whole album is brilliant.  And the fact that "Flowers" came up on shuffle on Pithoigia was lovely and appropriate.  But this one, "Wait for Me", is Hermes and Orpheus singing. 

Just throwing this up before we go to the cemetery.  I will doing a bigger write up on Anthesteria in the next couple days...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Anthesteria Approaching...

For most, it's here already, but my observance won't start til Thursday!  However, I have noticed a certain tone to my dreams the last couple of nights.  Specifically two nights ago, where there was this sense of ghosts and gloom along with love and sensuality.  I even woke up thinking, "How very anthesteric."  (Yes, I made up a word.)  The same night, my lover, unfamiliar with the myth of Erigone, dreamt of a girl killing herself and becoming a constellation. 
In the meantime, here's a very Dionysian song I discovered last year.  It's dark, it's sexy, and it seems particularly appropriate to Anthesteria... 
I wanna feel good
With my personal god
Tell me what to do
Tell me who to love
I see you walking
With the weight of the world
On your shoulders
Let me ease it
I wanna look good
For my personal god
Tell me how to feel
Tell me who to hurt
I see you hiding
Deep down in your hole
I would lend a hand
You can trust me
I wanna show you
My personal god
I've been hiding him
Hiding in the hole
I wanna feel good
With my personal god
I wanna look good
For my personal god

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Looking ahead, this is going to be a busy month!!  On top of my regular devotional days, there's two 3 day blocks of events.
The first... this week over the Noumenia, I'm taking a camping trip with my two dearest and most spiritual friends.  We have no specific rituals planned, but simply being out in nature for a while will be nice.  For certain, I would like to build a shrine to the nymphs and try to commune with them.  Other than that, and ringing in the Noumenia and reaffirming commitments, I just planning on being open to any spontaneous experiences or encounters.  If we have time we may drive more northward to search for amanitas.  
Then there's the Anthesteria... I'm working on the actual dates, so I'm pushing my celebration of those three days back to the full moon and the day before and after.  I haven't really attempted something like this before.  The idea is both exciting and intimidating. 
I'm still planning what I'd like to do for Anthesteria - but after reading Otto's Dionysos, I'm suddenly rather taken with the idea of both making a mask for the god and integrating that into my rituals. 
The Aiora (swinging festival) really intrigues me.  Even as an adult I would readily admit that I enjoy going swinging.  There was a night perhaps a year and a half ago, where a solo walk ended up with me spontaneously swinging in an empty park.  My life was on the threshold of a lot of change at the time, and the act of it felt very significant, though I didn't know why.  I just remember swinging, looking at the moon, and both crying and feeling inexplicably joyful at the same time.  That people might have once approached the act in a spiritual sense never even occurred to me before, but makes sense.  I'm looking forward to this.
So, so far, it looks like the first day will be creative (mask making) and celebratory (flowers and feasting).  Second day, the more intense work including the Aiora and some form of the sacred rite in the evening (trance and mind-altering substances likely).  Third day, offerings to the dead and hymns to Hermes, perhaps a trip to the cemetery.  Smudging and cleansing at the end of the day seems appropriate.
I'm working on Valentine's Day, but maybe I'll still try to fit in something extra with Aphrodite.  I know a lot of people who dislike the holiday.  Myself, I've loved ALL holidays since I was a kid.  And one that's dedicated to love?  How can that be bad?  In my opinion, if you let yourself get bogged down by the commercialism then you have no one but yourself to blame.  It's not the responsibility of commercial industries to keep the sacred in our holy days, it's our own.  (End rant.)  I'm sure my parents were an influence here too.  I never saw Valentine's Day as solely for romantic love, partly because they always got my siblings and I our own individual cards (and candy, naturally) expressing their love for each of us as individuals.   
There's other projects and miscellany and goals, but those are the big ones!

Dionysos: Myth and Cult by Walter F. Otto

One aspect of my goals in being more spiritual and devotional this year includes wanting to read more about the gods.  I remember beginning to read this a couple years back and getting bogged down in the first 50 pages which discusses myth and cultus in general.  Which is unfortunate, because I found that section and the whole book extremely rewarding when I actually sat down and gave it the attention it deserved.

I love how Otto blasts certain fallacies and assumptions that are STILL being made today (probably even more so than his time in the 1930's, I'd wager).  Fallacies such as... 1) Deities begin as a simple idea or concept and evolve into a more complex personality.  2) That Dionysos can be boiled down to his role as a "vegetative" deity or that all deities and cult practices can be traced to such. 3) That one can even begin to scratch the surface of a god or cult practices using psychology or a modern mindset.  No, Otto says, to even begin to understand the god or his followers we must first assume the reality of the god himself!

The work and discussion is scholarly, but the tone and approach are reverent and even poetic at times.  (Indeed, how else can one broach topics like ecstasy, madness, and the mysteries of life and death without poetry?)

My timing in reading this book was good for a couple reasons... It discussed some details of  Anthesteria, which is coming up soon.  I had been trying to research online but have found limited information so far.  In particular, it explained reasoning why a spring festival might have connections with the dead which was illuminating for me.  Which leads to another illuminating topic, Dionysos' association with death, and even as a god of death.  It's a connection I felt intuitively insomuch as I think of him as transformative and often destructive, but there is a lot of explicit association with death and for some reason that both surprised and made sense to me.  (It further explained one aspect of an interaction I'd had with him recently, as well.)

Also fascinating was the discussion of the significance of the mask in Dionysos' cult, his association with prophecy as well as with water, Ariadne's association with Aphrodite, comparison of the ivy and vine... Okay, obviously I could go on and on. 

My one complaint... I don't know Greek (damn it), and he sometimes quotes Greek epithets and titles and phrases without translating them.  A minor thing which doesn't take away a whole lot from the reading as a whole, but still left me curious every time.

Here are some favorite quotes:

"Were the phenomenon of artistic creation completely lost to us at some time, we would first have to approach it with wonder before we would dare to penetrate its meaning. So, the phenomenon of cultus, which has, as a matter of fact, been lost to us except for a few ancient remnants, should awaken in us, above all, a deep sense of awe."

"The visage of every true god is the visage of the world. There can be a god who is mad only if there is a mad world which reveals itself through him.  Where is this world? Can we still find it? Can we appreciate its nature? For this no one can help us but the god himself."

"The more alive this life becomes, the nearer death draws, until the supreme moment - the enchanted moment when something new is created - when death and life meet in an embrace of mad ecstasy."

"Wine has in it something of the spirit of infinity which brings the primeval world to life again."

"How could man who had been touched by the Divine remain inert and motionless when all genuine revelation awakens the power of creativity?"

Kerenyi's Dionysos is probably the next logical selection to read.  But I have The God Who Comes: Dionysian Mysteries Revisited by Rosemarie Taylor-Perry on back order from Amazon so I may read that first *if* they ever ship it to me, since I haven't bought Kerenyi's book yet.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


First Lenaia celebrated.  Not over several days, not how the ancients did it, not scripted or planned. 

After 12 hours of work, in the liminal time between the setting full moon and rising sun, I light the altar candles and kyphi, strip off my clothes, put on a record of whimsical music, grab my thyrsus from the altar, and dance.  Sometimes graceful, sometimes not.  I laugh at myself, I writhe and twirl in the tight spaces of my bedroom.  I throw my head back, reverent and irreverent, touch my tongue to the pine cone, raise the thyrsus high.  Rise and come, Dionysos!  Born from Semele, from Persephone, from the thigh of Zeus!  Light in the dark!  I call in many ways.  I kneel with a bottle of wine, a chalice of water, a mixing bowl.  I accidentally pierced my hand with a wine opener.  Now it knows both of our blood!  Water to wine.  I bask in Your presence, speak of innermost feelings, maenad to god, woman to lover.  I mix my tears in the bowl.  Every sip of wine brings a new eruption of goosebumps on my skin as You wash over and through me.  I thank, I offer, kiss the surface of the wine with my lips, and pour out the libation.  I think, "To love Dionysos is to be in love with life itself."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Heart Protected, Muses Neglected

I am a daydreamer.  I daydream scenarios both good and bad, impossible and probable.  I've been trying to master this more, particularly the negative ones, for I know part of it stems from my need to feel in control by working through all possible situations ahead of time.  (That whole statement doesn't work does it?  Damn.  Back to square one.  Well let's just say I'm trying to be more aware of how I focus my energy.)  Nevertheless, the more constructive daydreams become, essentially, a conversation with myself.  Sometimes they are illuminating ones, as far as facing my own fears and motivations goes.

In this way, I realized today (not for the first time) that I am holding back.  I am afraid of simply being happy sometimes, of letting go and appreciating the moment.  This manifests in particular ways, ways that are fucking sneaky sometimes... where I can easily justify to myself that I am simply being practical or protecting my heart.  But those are just excuses. The past is no excuse either, even less so.

How simple it is to be sad, to surrender, risk nothing.

I would have said this holding back has only been occasional and I've been fine on the whole, except for one thing that struck me today: I have not written any poetry in months.

I can't even remember the last.  Sometime before October?  Perhaps even longer ago than I think.  To me, this is very significant: both the fact itself and that it took me so long to take note.

I DO remember having ideas and being in poetic moods.  I have had no shortage of inspiration and experiences to draw from.  I also remember, further back along this time-line, thinking "I don't have the heart to write right now..."  And slowly that excuse morphed into something else, this vaguest sense of bottling up and redirecting, that I did without even thinking about it.

I don't think this is a wall I can batter down between phone calls at work, but it's a wall I don't want to ignore anymore either.  The more I think about it the more I see other ways it's manifesting.

For instance, last Thursday was the day I had planned my devotional day for the Muses.  It coincided, coincidentally, with a lecture at the art museum that I wanted to see about "goddesses" (talented actresses) in the golden age of film.  This is a topic I am both interested in and know little about, so it was very enjoyable.  That was followed by a walk around the art museum to see some favorite pieces and sections.  All in all, a lovely day, and very much in line with their realm. 

However, I must admit that my last 2 devotional days for the Muses included no actual creative work done by myself, which I would have thought would be my main focus on these days. 

Not to mention that I'm a musician whose instruments are no doubt feeling seriously neglected of late. 

That probably sounds like a morose note to end on, but hey, I'm a fan of the minor keys.  One way or another, it's time for a time out, for barrier-breaking and becoming creative again.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Daemonia Nymphe

How did I not know about this band?? I will definitely be obtaining some of their music SOON...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dancing in the New Year

On the night of New Year's Day, I had what is, up until this point, THE most spiritual experience I've ever had while dancing.

(My previous plans for New Year's Eve had been botched due to being forced to work overtime that night.  So I went out on the New Year's Day instead.)

There are some important things leading up to this.  Including my experiences the last time I went dancing, which I blogged about a little.  Also, yesterday morning I woke from a dream about one of my favorite musicians, Owen Pallett.  I was left, upon waking, with a desire to listen to one of his songs.  I did so, and immediately something "clicked" for me.  I realized the source of some of my shadow issues that cropped up the last time I went dancing, and that had been bothering me since.  Although realizing is not the same as solving or facing, by any means, naming it is certainly a vital first step.

A friend and I went to the club together.  We drank a generous amount of wine in the parking lot.  (Hey, buying drinks is expensive.  Also, we had better wine than the bars serve.)  I blessed some of it, we  toasted Dionysos.  I also used some of the marvelous Aves salve (flying ointment) I'd purchased from The Forest Grove Botanica.  I will definitely be using this combination again...

What I'm ABLE to describe now is only a fraction of what I experienced.  But such is the paradoxical nature of not only trying to recall things experienced in an altered, ecstatic state, but even of trying to translate it into words. 

The 2nd or 3rd song I danced to is where it really kicked in.  The song was a slower, sultry one - a familiar staple of the club, but one which I sadly do not know the name of.  I remember thinking "Gypsy songs are dangerous..."  (Meaning, I think, songs which make me move my hips a lot...)  More than ever, I was not in control of my dancing... my dancing was an expression, and one that I could even step outside myself and marvel at the ways that my body was choosing to manifest the music.

I was, for the first time, flirting with my god.  This sounds funny, probably, but how else to explain?  Flirting is a two way communication of subtleties.  And most significantly, He was *there* to flirt with, and flirt back -- I can't really describe how astounding that was.

There were conversations... whole conversations.  I went ELSEWHERE.  I dance with my eyes closed usually.  But I remember opening my eyes at the end of a song, and being, not surprised exactly, but AWARE of how displaced I had been.  I had not been dancing on just that dance floor.

I asked a gift of Him, and I felt that he made me a promise.  It is far too personal to share, and I will never be able to tell you if he grants it, but it is enough for me to feel that promise.

This was one of my favorite parts... which again, may sound strange and I even hesitate to share it.  I mentioned before the idea of flirting, and that I do not control my dancing (to a large degree, depending on the trance state).  One of the "gifts" given me that night, while dancing with the god, was that he would catch me.  SO many times.  Dancing, twirling, writhing, almost always with my eyes closed - if I ever was on the verge of losing my balance, there was an opposing force righting me before it could happen.  How many times did I murmur, "thank you" for this?  Too many to count!!  Also (and I nearly swoon to think of it) there were a couple instances, where my own hand was "brought" to my face, the way that one might caress the cheek of a lover.  Oh, my Lord...

I've aspired to be his, to be as a maenad, and dare I say that I crossed into that realm that night?  I can't deny the power of what I felt, and the communion and intimacy.  And yet there's a strong sense of, not ending or accomplishment, so much as beginning and initiation.

I think it will be an interesting year.

iPod Augury for 2011

I like doing divination for the new year.  Tarot is my tool of choice, but I've also developed a way of using a shuffle or random setting on an mp3 player to imitate a 10 card Celtic Cross spread.  Especially useful if you're "on the go", or have a long car ride ahead of you...

If you wish to do this, here are some helpful things to think about...  Think, what suit does this song sound like (wands, swords, cups, pentacles)? What are the main instruments?  What is the mood?  If it's by your favorite band, perhaps this is the equivalent of a "major arcana" card for you.  What does an instrumental song indicate to you?  How about a remix?  Consider the lyrics as well as the song and even album titles.  Consider previous associations with the song.  Pay attention to the literal, it's sometimes surprising!  There's so much more you can consider, but that's definitely plenty to get started with.  (And of course, there's no reason you couldn't adapt this to another system, I'm just more familiar with tarot so it works for me.)

In order to get things rolling, I had to pick a song to start with and then hit "random" on my stereo.  This is much like deliberately choosing a querent card for myself, so it suited me just fine.  I chose a song that has been resonating strongly with me today and yesterday - "Many Lives for 49MP" by Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett).  Here are the songs that followed:

1) Return (Coming Home) Dreamside remix Part II - The Cruxshadows
2) Scatterbrain (As Dead as Leaves) - Radiohead
3) Cry Little Sister (2008 Caveclub remix) - G Tom Mac
4) Headphones (0 remix) - Bjork
5) The Tragic Events of September Part I - Evelyn Evelyn
6) Nerotia Hazaruri (Little Candles) - Sofia Run
7) Red Sun No. 5 - Owen Pallett
8) A Walk in the Woods - Audra
9) Anyone's Ghost - The National
10) Last Breath - The Cruxshadows

In the place of my self in my current situation - "Return (Coming Home) Dreamside Remix Part II", by the Cruxshadows.  A song about going home after a long battle (subtle references to Odysseus.) The idea that I am returning to what is important to me (my "dreams"), but with a new approach (remix).  That this position is a Cruxshadows song (my favorite band) indicates a sense of rightness of where I am and what I am doing, as well as the import of it.  Also, amusingly, I was physically driving home at the time of this augury.

In place of my crossing, what helps or hinders me, is "Scatterbrain (As Dead as Leaves)" by Radiohead.  I had a good laugh at this.  I am definitely a scatterbrain, and it is a major hindrance to me as I try to be more dedicated and organized to my goals.  This lyrics stands out to me - "Any fool can easy pick a hole I only wish I could fall in.../ Somewhere I'm not / Scatterbrain"

In the position of what crowns me, the surface of the situation, is "Cry Little Sister (2008 CaveClub remix)" by G Tom Mac.  In the literal sense, I have been more emotional than usual lately.  The original song is one of my favorites of all time, and to me it is very moving and passionate - I am bringing my passions to the surface and redefining them.  It also reminds me of Dionysos more than a little, especially the incredible experience I had of Him last night!

"Cry, little sister! (Thou shalt not fall)
Come, come to your brother! (Thou shalt not die)
Unchain me, sister! (Thou shalt not fear)
Love is with your brother! (Thou shalt not kill)"

In the position of what is below me, the underlying currents and subconscious, is "Headphones (0 remix)" by Bjork.  Very appropriate in this position.  This has a serious bass beat that is very primal.  "It lulled me to sleep / Nothing will be the same / I'm fast asleep / I like this resonance / It elevates me / I don't recognize myself / This is very interesting..."  I do feel like I'm tapping into my own subconscious more, learning new things about myself.  The title indicates that I'm tapped into something specific right now, I'm listening and paying attention.

In the position of the past is "The Tragic Events of September Part I" by Evelyn Evelyn.  Wow wow wow.  Although the lyrics themselves have little relevance to me, the title very much does and the personal meaning of the song as well.  There are certain "tragic" events that have definitely brought me to where I am.

In the position of the future is "Nerotia Hazarurim (Little Candles)" by Sofia Run.  This is a holiday song, Jewish I think?  It's on a gothic compilation of Christmas-y songs I have.  It is not in English.  I cannot find lyrics to this, but what I take from it intuitively is the idea that I will be taking from and learning from old paths or traditions but it will be something that is new or unfamiliar to me.  Also, I need to take with me into the next year the things I have learned this December, because it has been an incredibly important month, and these lessons will build into something greater.

In the position of my psychological state and attitudes is "Red Sun No. 5" by Owen Pallett.  This is significant because it's by the same artist as my chosen querent song.  And it's such a complex song off of a complex narrative album, I couldn't possibly go into all the implications.  In this song, Lewis realizes "I am not a father / I am not a farmer", realizes his own mortality, and knows what his destiny is - to face his god/maker.  I am realizing new facets of myself, I am becoming more than what my job, relationships or environment defines me as.  I am being called to a spiritual life.

In the position of outside influences, "A Walk in the Woods" by Audra.  I don't have the full lyrics at hand.  But intuitively, this tells me to pay attention to symbols, omens and my natural environment.  There seems to be something important to the repeated lyric "Don't leave us, don't leave us..."  Still contemplating.

In the position of my hopes and fears is "Anyone's Ghost" by The National.  This really speaks to me, and some realizations I've had in the past few days.  Generally, of the emotional paradoxes involved in moving forward while still holding things from the past as sacred.

Final Outcome: "Last Breath" by The Cruxshadows.  You can't equate every song to a tarot card, but to me, this is The Death card, at least for this reading.  The Death card is also my card for 2011, based on numerology, so that makes it even more appropriate.  There is a lot of change and transition I need to make, that I will inevitably make. 

"Her lips are cold like death
And she steals away my last breath
As I reach into her soul
And coldly let her go
I let her go..."