I am a . . . Hellenic Pagan, Pacific Northwest Polytheist, ADF Druid, Green Witch, Epic Poet, Queer Mythographer, Eclectic Reconstructionist, Neoplatonist Mystic, Polycentric Syncretist, Heathen Priest, Pythagorean Shaman, Hermetic Alchemist, Taoist Hermit, Orphic Initiate, Radical Faerie, Pure Land Greco-Buddhist, Proto-Indo-European Enthusiast, Animist Spirit-Worker, Ancestor Worshiper, Devotee of Antinous, Shakespearean Bardolater, Classical Humanist, Romantic Modernist, Evolutionary Theosophist, Universal Sufist, Religious Pluralist, Esoteric Cosmologist, Unitarian Universalist, American Transcendentalist, Perennial Philosopher, Emanationist Theologian, Aesthetic Relativist, Ontological Anarchist, Participatory Epistemologist, Spiritual Nonconformist, Olympian Visionary, Vedantic Seeker, Utopian Dreamer, Mythopoeic Thinker, Metaphysical Explorer, Astral Voyager, Rogue Scholar, Bardic Storyteller, Sylvan Historian, Occult Librarian, Family Archivist, Voracious Bibliophile, Culture Vulture, Anthology Editor, Subversive Educator, LGBTQ Activist, Feminist Ally, Multiculturalist Advocate, Servant of the Muses, Practitioner of Passage Meditation, Dreamwalker, Star-Gazer, Beach-Comber, Tree-Hugger, Torch-Bearer, Island-Dweller, Wine Drinker, Amateur Baker, Would-Be Gardener, List Maker, Companion of the Flame, Hero with 1,000 Faces, Revivalist of the Ancient Greek Cult of the Poet, Architect of the New Global Literary Canon, Scribe for the Temple of the Imagination, Happily Married Gay Man, and Child of Earth and Starry Heaven . . .
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes. – Walt Whitman
Everything is full of Gods. ― Thales
Everything is overflowing with Gods. ― Proclus
I grew up in the arms of the gods. ― Friedrich Hölderlin
Goddesses and Young Gods
Caress the sanctity of Adolescence
In the shaft of the sun.
― Mina Loy, O Hell
True prayer results in the nourishment of the soul’s intellectual vigor, the enlargement of its receptive capacity, and the provision of a divine key which unfolds to man the deep mysteries of the Gods and does not desist until it raises us to the summit of all.
Beloved Pan, and all ye other gods who haunt this place, give me beauty in the inward soul; and may the outward and inward man be at one. May I reckon the wise to be the wealthy, and may I have such a quantity of gold as none but the temperate can carry.
― Socrates, Plato’s Phaedrus
Thanks be to blessed Nature that she has made what is necessary easy to obtain, and what is not easy unnecessary. ― Epicurus
In the name of the Bee —
And of the Butterfly —
And of the Breeze — Amen!
― Emily Dickinson
The term ‘neopagan’ makes no more sense than ‘neorock’ or ‘neoflower.’ Paganism appears when the human species is healthy, and disappears when it is sick. It can wither, as a flower withers, and die, as a plant dies. But it cannot assume a different form, nor does it have more than one basic form. ― Fernando Pessoa
To be a heretic to-day is almost a human obligation. ― Jane Ellen Harrison
Witchcraft was hung, in History,
But History and I
Find all the Witchcraft that we need
Around us, Every Day –
― Emily Dickinson
Nothing, however, can be more arrogant, though nothing is commoner than to assume that of Gods there is only one, and of religions none but the speaker’s.
― Virginia Woolf, Orlando
If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal- that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality. Perhaps the facts most astounding and most real are never communicated by man to man. The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Philosophy begins in Wonder. He was not a bad genealogist who said that Iris (the Rainbow Goddess and Divine Messenger) is the child of Thaumas (Wonder).
― Socrates in Plato’s Theatetus
The lyre of true philosophy is no less tuneful in the desert than in the city; and he who knows how to call forth its latent harmony in solitude, will not want the testimony of the multitude to convince him that its melody is ecstatic and divine.
― Thomas Taylor, History of the Restoration of Platonic Theology
We are voyagers, discoverers
of the not-known,
we have no map;
possibly we will reach haven,
― H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), The Walls Do Not Fall
someone will remember us
even in another time
― Sappho (translated by Anne Carson)
My voice rings down through thousands of years
To coil around your body and give you strength,
You who have wept in direct sunlight,
Who have hungered in invisible chains,
Tremble to the cadence of my legacy:
An army of lovers shall not fail.
― Rita Mae Brown
I will carry my sword in a myrtle bough
Just like Harmodius and Aristogeiton
When they killed the tyrant
And made Athens a place of equality under the law.
― Athenian Drinking Song
Two men can defy the world. ― E.M. Forster, Maurice
Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.
― Joseph Campbell
. . . our doubts are our traitors, and make us lose the good we oft would win by fearing to attempt.
― William Shakespeare
To regret one’s own experience is to arrest one’s own development. To deny one’s own experience is to put a lie into the lips of one’s own life. It is no less than a denial of the Soul. ― Oscar Wilde, De Profundis
Know Thyself. ― inscribed in the pronaos of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi
No one is free who has not obtained the empire of himself. ― Demophilus the Pythagorean
I change myself, I change the world. ― Gloria E. Anzaldúa
Become what you are. ― Pindar
Withdraw into yourself and look. ― Plotinus
If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else? ― RuPaul
We are all of us richer than we think we are. ― Montaigne
Whatever I am offered in devotion with a pure heart – a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water – I accept with joy. Whatever you do, make it an offering to me – the food you eat, the sacrifices you make, the help you give, even your suffering.
― Krishna to Arjuna in The Bhagavad Gita (translated by Eknath Easwaran)
Do external things distract you? Then make time for yourself to learn something worthwhile, stop letting yourself be pulled in all directions. But make sure you guard against the other kind of confusion. People who labor all their lives but have no purpose to direct every thought and impulse toward are wasting their time – even when hard at work. ― Marcus Aurelius (translated by Gregory Hays)
Whatever can be done another day can be done today. ― Montaigne
It takes a lot of time to be a genius. You have to sit around so much, doing nothing, really doing nothing.
― Gertrude Stein
In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
He came after Homer and before Gertrude Stein, a difficult interval for a poet.
― Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red
If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. ― Toni Morrison
There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before. ― Willa Cather
Books are the mirrors of the soul. ― Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts
Beware of anyone who has just one book. ― Latin Epigram
The thought of what America would be like
If the Classics had a wide circulation
Troubles my sleep.
― Ezra Pound, Cantico Del Sole
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,”—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
― John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn
Could beauty be caught and hurt
they had done her to death with their sneers
in ages and ages past,
could beauty be sacrificed
for a thrust of a sword,
for a piece of thin money
tossed up to fall half alloy—
then beauty were dead
long, long before we saw her face.
― H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), The Tribute
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention!
― William Shakespeare, Henry V
From Mount Helikon the Muses arise and go forth,
veiled in thick mist, gliding through darkness,
enchanted voices singing in praise of Zeus Aegis-Bearer,
and Lady Hera, queen of Argos, who walks in golden sandals,
and the daughter of Zeus Aegis-Bearer, gray-eyed Athena,
and Phoebus Apollon and Artemis the Archeress,
and Poseidon Earth-Holder, Earth-Shaker,
and stately Themis and Aphrodite of the Sparkling Glance,
and golden-crowned Hebe and fair Dione,
and Leto, Iapetos, and scheming Kronos,
and Eos, mighty Helios, and bright Selene,
and Gaia, great Okeanos, and dark Nyx,
and the entire sacred pantheon of immortal deities
who are deathless and forever.
― Hesiod, adapted from Theogony
Homeric Hymn to Hestia (and Hermes)
Hestia, in the high dwellings of all, both deathless gods and men who walk on earth, you have gained an everlasting abode and highest honour: glorious is your portion and your right. For without you mortals hold no banquet, ― where one does not duly pour sweet wine in offering to Hestia both first and last.
And you, slayer of Argus, Son of Zeus and Maia, messenger of the blessed gods, bearer of the golden rod, giver of good, be favourable and help us, you and Hestia, the worshipful and dear. Come and dwell in this glorious house in friendship together; for you two, well knowing the noble actions of men, aid on their wisdom and their strength.
Hail, Daughter of Cronos, and you also, Hermes, bearer of the golden rod! Now I will remember you and another song also.
(translated by H.G. Evelyn-White)