In this photo, you see four decorative measuring spoons—tablespoon, teaspoon, half-teaspoon, and quarter-teaspoon—displayed around a small ceramic box with lid slightly askew; the lid is decorated with small flowers and the inscription Happiness, like a butterfly, settles upon you when you least expect it.

The unifying theme of the photo is, of course, butterflies: the ceramic box is shaped like one and decorated with two more, there is one in enameled color on the handle of each of the silver-toned spoons, and the bowl of each spoon has at least one more engraved butterfly.

I bought the ceramic box at a local Goodwill, looking for items that might suit a shrine to Hestia (which shrine I have not actually formally put together yet, but I’ll get to it). I bought the measuring spoon set at the local orchard, on impulse, thinking they might serve to decorate my kitchen (where the shrine to Hestia belongs).

I do like butterflies. But today, noticing the spoons and the box sitting on the kitchen counter between my Hestia statuette and the growing pile of soda can tabs (saved for a family friend’s craft projects), I wonder if Hestia likes butterflies, too.


Hail, Hermēs Agoraios!

So Dver has challenged polytheists to spend September blogging about our actual practices, not our politics.

Today I found a penny. It was just under the sales counter in the shoe department at a department store in the local mall: almost out of sight, as though it was waiting for me, there in that marketplace, that agora where Hermēs rules.

This month in the Bacchic Underground, the Deity we are honoring all month is Hermēs. My plan to honor Him each day all month is to write at least one hundred words every day (on an existing project, as of the end of August; the project I conceived of earlier in September does not count, but this blog does), because He governs communication, and to exercise at least a little every day, because He governs the gymnasion. I was actually at the mall to walk its length and get that exercise, as much as to buy new shoes.

Found coins are gifts from Hermēs.

Hail to Hermēs of the marketplace!

Attention Deficit Devotion, an abbreviated illustration

I haven’t made a food offering to Hestia in a while.

I should go make food. Proper homemade food.

I’m hungry and I want red beans and rice.

I don’t have seasoning salt.

What goes into seasoning salt? Could I substitute herbs or spices I already have?

Okay, Wikipedia says there’s a List of common ingredients, and I don’t have most of the List. I wonder could I achieve much the same effect by using plain salt and Accent?

But then sisters couldn’t have any.

Sisters aren’t even here.

How’s sister of the currently broken foot doing?

*checks sister’s Facebook*

Oh, cool, that is an awesome Spark-of-Pokémon-Go origin story fanfic that sister found.

Everyone’s having so much fun with Pokémon Go. I want to play too.

Will my phone even download the game?

How come this bleeping phone doesn’t download apps straight to SD card like I have given it explicit instructions to do?

What’s in this version of Android that it takes so much of this phone’s internal storage, anyway?

Why do they call this version “Lollipop”?

[insert lyrics from the Chordettes’ 1958 song of that title]

Apple pie would be tasty right about now.

I’m hungry. I should probably eat something more nutritious. Not that I have any apple pie anyway.

Wasn’t I going to cook something?

Wasn’t I going to offer the first and last bits of an actual homemade-food meal to Hestia?


Ethics, folks. They’re a thing.

Galina Krasskova has screenshots of people suggesting strategies to use against “neo-conservative racists in the occult/pagan community”. I particularly wish to highlight two of the suggested strategies.

2. Trap them. Catch them doing or saying something illegal and record it. Anonymously notify the correct authorities. If he’s racist he’s probably also a raging misogynist, here is a pretty high percent chance he beats women. Bust him for that.

3. Sabotage. Sabotage everything. Their protests, their social events, their rituals…their relationships. Sabotage them physically, sabotage them magically. Block them at protests. Blast distractingly loud noises in the vicinity of their rituals. Curse them liberally.

Dear fellow Pagan and polytheist progressives:

If we do these things, we become what we are trying to fight.

ETA 8/30: Sarenth has a detailed breakdown of exactly why these strategies are horrifying.

I do not particularly appreciate that Sarenth is lumping people like me in with people who advocate that, but I understand why that’s how that post is written. The people who advocate that claim to be speaking for the entirety of left, liberal, and progressive Paganism and polytheism—and those of us who fall somewhere under that LLPPP umbrella and who find those strategies appalling aren’t speaking loud enough to drown the left-fascists out.

The Mousai Titanides

The Mousai Titanides are hardly spoken of; their nieces (or, perhaps, daughters) the Olympian Muses are far better known. Calliope and Clio are recognized names; Melete and Aoide, unfamiliar.

Perhaps there are three of these Elder Muses, perhaps four: certainly there are five names between the two groupings. I mostly honor the three: Melete, Mneme, and Aoide, whose names mean Practice, Memory, and Song. The other two names, joining Melete and Aoide without Mneme when there are four altogether, are Arkhe, Beginning, and Thelxinoe, Charming the Mind.

A poet might honor Thaleia and never Melpomene, except when honoring the nine Olympian Muses all together, on account of writing comic works, never tragic. A writer of historical fiction might care only for Kleio; a dancer only for Terpsikhore. But all of these artists might do better to honor the Mousai Titanides as well. After all, what is art without the practice of craft, the memory of how to craft well, and the inspiration—the song—that sets the artist in motion? Indeed, what is art without at last beginning to set words or notes or paint on paper, in order to achieve charming the mind of the audience?

Who spurs the artist
ever to practice their craft,
I honor you.

Who guides the artist
past the obstacle of the blank page,
I honor you.

mother of the Nine,
Who teaches the artist
to remember each trick of the trade,
I honor you.

Who aids the artist
to create that which will enthrall,
I honor you.

Who charms the artist
with the first idea for each work of art,
I honor you.

Polytheism and disability

So I am partially disabled with respect to my wrists and hands. Category “repetitive stress injury”, class “typed too much”, and increasingly often it hurts too badly for me to work.

It has occurred to me that if any God in my tradition understands this, it must be Hephaistos. His disability is a different category than mine, of course: a mobility disability, a limp, possibly (in modern terms) part- or full-time use of a wheelchair. I’ve none of those. But surely He understands what it’s like to be unable to do something necessary or desired because of unaccommodated physical limitations—to be, well, physically disabled.

(Now, to be fair, I do have accommodations for this disability. It’s just that, even so…)

I believe I shall start to pay cultus to Hephaistos, properly, instead of just as part of a proper Khalkeia celebration. A stick of frankincense incense, and Homeric Hymn 20 in Athanassakis’s translation, and if my hands hurt less today I would practice my metal-stamping in His honor.