My name is Ryan, and after years of reading and enjoying other pagan/polytheist blogs, I decided it was finally time to start my own.
Since I’ve never really blogged before, please bear with me in these opening days as I learn more about the technical side of things and what I can do with this thing.
I’ve come up with four main topics I want to write about:
1. The “I Am” Series.
If you’d like to learn a little bit more about me, please check out my About Me page. The page features a number of quotes I’ve found particularly meaningful over the years, but it begins with the phrase “I am a . . .” followed by a fairly long list of concepts that I’ve used to help define who I am. These range from “Hellenic Pagan” and “Pacific Northwest Polytheist” to various philosophical notions (Ontological Anarchist, Participatory Epistemologist), a wide array of spiritual traditions that have impacted my own practice (Neoplatonist Mystic, Neopagan Druid, Green Witch), and personal details (Happily Married Gay Man, Amateur Baker, Voracious Bibliophile). Some of these terms are seemingly contradictory (my favorite being “Eclectic Reconstructionist”), but that was intentional, because I thought I could make an interesting series of blog posts explaining each of these topics and what they mean to me. I have a strong reason for including each of those terms, as they are topics I’ve been wanting to write about for a long time. And there are enough topics on that list to keep me blogging for quite awhile . . .
I should also add that I am only speaking about myself, my own beliefs and practices. I do not represent any other individual or group, even though many individuals and groups have influenced my own ideas. I am not trying to convert anyone or tell anyone else what to believe.
2. The “My Personal Pantheon” Series.
I added a page called My Personal Pantheon. This includes a series of lists (anyone reading this blog will quickly learn I’m very fond of lists and catalogues) of deities who I honor/revere as part of my personal practice. Some of these goddesses and gods (and heroes/heroines and other categories of divine beings) are part of my daily practice, others appear in different ways. I am primarily a Hellenic Pagan/Polytheist, which is the primary pantheon that guides my spiritual work, but as a true polytheist I find ways to honor and acknowledge the divine beings from many pantheons, traditions, places and cultures. As Thales said: “Everything is full of gods.” As Proclus said: “Everything is overflowing with gods.” Since there are so many gods, and because I have a lot to say about each of them, I decided to start a series of posts called “My Personal Pantheon,” in which I write about my own relationship to these deities. I’m going to start with the 18 Hellenic Gods who have been the focus of my last 15 years of daily practice as a self-proclaimed pagan, but who have actually been major forces in my life since the age of two or three, when I sat on the lap of my Greek grandmother as she read me the myths and told me stories about the old country. Those gods are Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hades, Hestia, Hephaestus, Athena, Hermes, Aphrodite, Ares, Artemis, Apollon, Dionysos, Persephone, Hekate, Pan, and Gaia. I will start with Hestia (since she is honored first and last in all things), and probably follow with Hermes, who I have long considered to be my patron.
As above, I feel the need to say that I am writing from my own personal experience. I have been studying Greek mythology, literature, religion, history, and culture in one form or another for most of my life (I am 33 years old), and I am happy to cite sources when necessary. However, I will also be writing about my own personal experiences with the gods (is the acronym UPG – Unverified Personal Gnosis – still a term in wide use?). These posts will be about how I see the gods.
3. The “Poet-Heroes” Series.
I am attempting to revive the ancient Greek cult of the Poet-Hero. My favorite book on the subject (okay, make that the *only* book I know on the subject) is Archilochos Heros: The Cult of Poets in the Greek Polis by Diskin Clay. It’s a fascinating study of the many poets/philosophers/writers honored with hero-cults by the ancient Greeks. I have many beloved Poet-Heroes, from antiquity to the present day, who I feel are worthy of honor and a proper hero cultus after they have passed into the next world. Some of the most important of these Poet-Heroes are listed on My Personal Pantheon page. Many, many, many more are listed on The Global Literary Canon page (I told you I love lists!), though that page also includes many great writers who are thankfully still alive and still writing. The Global Literary Canon page is a bit of a side-project, which I will probably elaborate upon at some future date. And in case you were wondering, my definition of “poet” is particularly broad and encompassing of many writers or thinkers or scholars in general (including the oral tradition), who I believe have demonstrated the use of “language charged with meaning to the highest possible degree” (Ezra Pound’s definition of literature).
Therefore, the “Poet-Heroes” series will highlight the contributions of these writers and thinkers, often by honoring the day of their birth.
4. The “What I Do” Series.
Finally, I intend to write a series of posts discussing the specifics of my spiritual practice and devotional work. Theory can be wonderful and useful, but some of my favorite spiritual/pagan blogs and writers are the ones who tell us and/or show us what they are actually doing to honor the gods. This series of posts might describe how I and/or my small group of like-minded friends and family celebrated a specific festival (I will shortly have a post up on what we did for Walpurgis Night/Beltaine/May Day/Floralia et al), or it could include details of my personal/solitary practice, the types of things I do every single day on behalf of the gods I love, the gods who guide me, the gods to whom I am thankful for all the blessings I’ve received in this lifetime, the gods to whom I’ve dedicated my life, my work, my art, my writing, my being.
I think I will have plenty to write about.
So once again . . . Welcome! I look forward to getting some actual posts up and reading your comments!