Avid followers of this blog might remember my dream with Apollo, which left a tantalising if not inexplicable puzzle for me. Soon after I found myself reading and enjoying a great deal of Orphic poetry. There’s an unexpected depth and unknown wealth of mythos behind the Greco-Roman pantheon.
Athena might have once been an axe-wielding savage goddess before her rage was soothed. The God of wine was once a horned God of death and trance. The Createan Gods were ancient and mysterious even to the Greeks. Not much remains of these Thracian mysteries other than fragments of poetry. Interestingly well informed members of these cult for respective Gods or Goddesses would have been part of groups known as mysteries. There’s an inherent curiosity to it which I think makes faith a bit more soothing.
I don’t deny that an certain aversion to mass beliefs makes these traditions more appealing. The ambiguity makes faith more appealing. I moved on towards the Jewish Kabbalistic traditions, with it’s spells and invocations. There’s also a curious bit of later spell casting probably created by esoteric Europeans in the 18th century but attributed to Solomon. I added in a bit of Hermetic magic just for some flavour. As you might expect you find a lot of cultish thinking, cults and edgy try-hards. I can report with confidence, though, that nothing I’ve read up on actually works.
My recent perusal of recent Daoist rituals has been more rewarding however. The stuff actually has you feeling more relaxed faster than actually meditation. I’ve also began a bit of reading into the Phoenician pantheon recently. Let’s see if Tanit is more receptive.
There are bees occupying my walls, murmuring over the wooden planes and drifting in and out of earshot. I look for them but I only find transparent wings littering my balcony, the insects they carried are missing. Ants scurry to steal all the wings they can carry, perhaps they have designs we cannot know yet, hidden away in their caverns. A flying division might do them some good. They might fly up and take their own share of honey if they could ever find the bee homeland. Only flowers and humming will guide them.
Like my last dream with a statue of Apollo, which I wrote about, last nights’ dream has left me with a riddle.
This time with two Wiccan/Hermetic Godheads, which came after a day of research, just like last time. This dream however was a more bit esoteric than the last one.
The dream takes place in my room. I lay down on my bed with four things next to me, on the windowsill. The four things included my glasses, my phone, a snail and a mystery object I can’t recall. The snail took on the role of an alarm clock. Something like a ‘to do list’ for the day, except it literally controlled what I would do the next day.
The four objects were hidden once I drew down my curtain. When I woke up, I drew the curtain back, now marked with a single snail trail across it. I touch the snail on the windowsill and I see a single dark log of wood, upright and marked with a single faintly white circle. In the dream I reason that this is the sign of the Wiccan Horned God.
Immediately, the dream shifts to a colleague of mine in the same setting. Expect she gets a lecture from her sister before she goes to bed, and she relates this lecture to her husband before going to sleep herself. The same four objects are behind the curtain. In real life she has no glasses and no husband.
She draws the curtain back, touches the snail and sees one upright log resting on a horizontal log. The logs are covered in leather and something about this configuration resembles a scorpion. The upright log has three circles on it, naturally I think, a sign of the Wiccan Triple Goddess.
Now this dream, doesn’t have any Chechovian weapons or sheilds like the last one, but I have the same question- what, my dear readers, could this mean?
A week or so ago, when the year just began, I was doing some reading on the Orphic mysteries and Gnosticism.
Soon after I dreamt of Apollo. Invoked in marble, I approached the statues’ base and he gave me two bronze arrowheads and a buckler sheild, circular with a semi-circular boss in the middle. The bronze was aged, a green bronze, beautiful like no other metal exposed to the elements can be. It occurred to me the size of the sheild could also change.
The figure of Apollo was thought to be dual natured, sometimes Helios, the sun god. What’s important to us is that he was know as a prophet, an Oracle besides the usually connection he has to messages.
It seems to me that I’ve been given a riddle. So my readers, do you know what I could do with two arrowheads and a sheild?
There’s a iron hum hitting my mind like the explosive sound of water dripping one excruciating droplet at a time. How, how could anyone have taken any joy in a day at home? The stillness of life resembles my balcony and everything beneath it. There are flashes of curiosity but everything turns to the unnatural emptiness of everyone staying at home. Soon and always the twitching crows, distant bird calls, rats fighting over bird feed is all that’s certain. Every crow is the same- glossy, suspicious with keen unseeing eyes and calling unheard inquiries. There are no ravens on my mantle and the only phantoms are the days rushing by.
There’s a soft seriousness about astrology, one that you should never really examine in its adherents. It’s the same no matter if it’s young women reading magazines or middle aged cranks visiting frauds who advertise on street posters.
I don’t doubt it’s effectiveness, having your fate in the stars must be a kind of liberation in the passive lives of its patrons. Maybe that’s why they worshipped planets in the first place, mercury is in retrograde and you have a one in twelve chance you share some common ground with the more fortunate.
Of course I know better than to take literally everything people take seriously. I’ve got my own crank theory I’m working on, based on the idea of the bicaramel mind and a bit of Jungianism. Julian Jaymes believed that the history of language predates that of conscious thought. So every now and then early man would hear a voice that guided him though crisis and he mistook it for the voice of Gods and Goddesses.
I’m not sure what I’ll do with my conspiracy yet, maybe cut down on day dreams or even try and cut off that inner monologue. Why shouldn’t I? There are people who never had anything at all in their minds and seem to get by just fine. Or maybe I’ll listen to that inner voice like it’s some trapped divinity mindlessly yammering about my life.
I’ve been chewing on the words “twenty twenty one” a whole lot these last few weeks and they just don’t go down right. There’s an uncanny sense the earth’s been spinning a little too fast and the world’s been hoodwinked into counting store brand days.
I met an old friend recently- well I say friend because I can’t bring myself say the actual words because they might ring out like a foul incantation.
I find it difficult to imagine a family member with whom I might feel a kind of solidarity. In a rather embarrassing fact of life, I was a bit too young to actually register the kindness and support we found in each other. It must have been a rather bleak home to have six year old me as the only source of good conversation.
However incomprehensible I find our camaraderie with only a self centered void where they recount old tales, I find it strange how they became a persistent phantom in my life. The empty figure becoming an archetype I see in my friends and the ones who aren’t. I have been looking for the same person over and over again. The way I talk to people, the same pantomime playing out again and again. Yet after casting a shadow that’s followed me my entire life I’ve nothing left to say to the progenitor. We’re not the same people anymore and you can’t search for old ghosts when nothing is the same. Like me, my old companion has forgotten who they were and unlike me have no reasons to look back, with so much in the present.
Previously I only had fragments. Fragments of other scandalous fragments, angsty, adolescence oriented Japanese TV programming that hinted at transgression. I could never find these shows a second time which gave the memories an esoteric quality always maddeningly out of reach of my hands that only grasp the bleakest realisms that forced themselves on me. I have drifted, constantly, relentlessly in the dull tyranny of my circumstance.
I’ve always had the notion that relations are panopticons. I can’t bear the foolish mouth sucking guards uniformed in familiarity saying isn’t it nice? Are we all getting along? Aren’t you glad we’re here? I don’t know what to say; I’m fighting the urge to do what comes naturally, hoping I’ll float away. One day I’ll leave them all behind.
I was sitting by the stairs on the corner, giving my cat company as he sat mournfully watching the street through the balcony grill. His white coat was interrupted by scars and dirt spots from his valient struggle against the neighborhood tom cat, at least thrice his size.
On my balcony, by the stairs, I can see right out to my neighbors. Today two young girls, natural friends given how close they lived to each other, started folding up fliers the supermarket had left on letter boxes all over the street. They made themselves a fleet of paper airplanes and labouring up two flights of stairs, started a bombardment that lasted at least 3 minutes. They ran back down and ran back up in seconds, paper airplanes all dutifully recollected.
This time one child’s grandmother covered under a pile of bedsheets she was folding and wearing a saree that looked suspiciously like a bedsheet gave them tips. The other child’s father back from work with a backpack, t-shirt and shorts and shortness that made it look like the two were only a few years apart also threw down airplanes. He did considerable worse than both the children. The children were encouraging between looks they exchanged with every failed launch.
The children flew back down and collect all the planes and ran back up disappearing completely. This was probably marks the only time someone gave those flyers a second look.
When I was a child I felt so embarrassed by pictures of me that I’d carry out clandestine operations to angle photos and push aside picture frames. I never had friends over because pictures embarrassed me more than the stuffy places we lived in.
To slip by unacknowledged was a skill, it’s own reward. It felt only natural for me to be drafted by shadows and sneak away from any recognition. Why? Well I won’t go into the Freudian bits but being unformed, untouched by an passing childhood crisis was a kind of liberation. I could be anyone I wanted to be, be on both sides, the wronged and the victorious. I was a diplomat with no crisis to attend to.
Having nothing to trouble you makes you a bit of a day dreamer, why wouldn’t you be if you were uninvested in what happened around you? It also makes for a polite kind of self involvement, a enjoyable one but there’s only so much of it I could stomach. Cynicism, I think, makes for good reading in your adolescence, afterwards it has nowhere to go but to a capacity for destruction.
I read some Jung this year, I read him every year but I only made something of his suggestions this year. You’ve got to be willing to unleash a little naiveté, a willingness to hope that’s a little bit more around the corner to really enjoy him. It’s funny that he’s the one with the reputation of being unscientific because he’s the one’s who’s constantly trying to structure things. There’s a certainty that comes with pulling back the curtains, leaning into a day dream or just a regular dream. It’s also funny given how much they reveal when you consider how vapour like they are.
I’ve been journalling my dreams regularly, they’re pretty strange but honest in the most absurd way. Meeting and being terrified by a goat faced God is a strange path to self discovery but I’ll take whatever works. The one thing that amazes me about dream journalling is how it let’s you recall dreams more regularly as you go along.
There’s a certain kind of honesty and strength that comes with writing down what’s bubbling in your mind, or even committing to creating something. So next year I’m going to go back to something I’ve always been avoiding, writing long bits of fiction. I’ve always had the lurking recognition that doing so really stretches how well you write and reveals your hand. I’m also going to get back to drawing regularly, I’ve been meaning to practice my basics instead of trying to skip ahead to the fancy parts I can show off. I’ve done an okay job of it so far but I’ve still got a long way to go on getting the perspective right.
Beards aren’t that well liked where I live especially among older folks, which means I receive a long list of “polite” hints about shaving. Highlights include:
“You look like a depressed artist that hangs around parks”
“You look like someone who’s just been released from a long stay at a hospital”
“You’re more beard than face”
“You look good, you don’t need to grow a beard”
“I would say you look nice if I could actually see your face”
“What are you trying to hide under there?”
“I’m sure the barbershops are safe even with covid”
“Forget covid it’s worth the risk”
“The thing about these style fads is you’ve got to change them often. Very often”