Solstice / Boeotian New Year Shopping Guide!

So, in response to The Wild Hunt’s Yule/Solstice Shopping Guide, I figured I’d make up one of my own for Polytheists! If you can think of anything I should add, leave a comment or send me a message via the Contact form. I’m giving preferential treatment to COMMUNITY ARTISTS, WRITERS, AND CRAFTSPERSONS! Mainstreamed, Llewellyn stuff and big-studio films get enough exposure, so here we go!


Non-Fiction Books:

Did you know that Sannion put out some new books, this year? Heart of the Labyrinth and Thunderstruck With Wine, both promise to be great for the Dionysian in your life, and if you haven’t, already, check out his other books, too!

Sanngetall Press has plenty of excellent works to choose from, including this year’s On Divination, Honouring the Ancestors, and Devotional Polytheism.

For those more academic and theology-minded, I’d also recommend Edward Butler’s Essays on the Metaphysics of Polytheism in Proclus , which was out this April. Also check out Essays on a Polytheistic Philosophy of Religion, which was out this May.

…and, of course, PSVL’s Red Lotus Library is full of great options, as well, including Ephesia Grammata: Ancient History and Modern Practice from earlier this year.

Of course, if pissing off the pagan mainstream and polytheist tea-baggers is high on the priorities of you and your loved ones, Rhyd Wildermuth’s Your Face Is a Forest is out!

And hey! It’s been a while since I pitched the New Boeotian calendar! (also: to anyone who may have noticed —I finally fixed the byline on the PDF)

Fiction Books:

So, someone in the comments suggested to me Jolene Poseidonae’s story subscription! For only $5/month, you can gift yourself or a loved one with original fiction that goes straight to a polytheist who indicates needing it for medical bills. $5/month for an original 4000-word story (or chapter of a longer story) —that’s less than some people spend on the same amount of Kindle porn.

There’s also WildTaleWort from writer Sylvia Victor Linsteadt (recommended in the same comment); another story subscription, this one via snail-mail post.

Art, devotional and ritual items, nick-knacks, and neat shit:

Sarah Kate Istra Winter is having a Yule Sale up at her Goblinesquerie shop, and her Carnival Talk Etsy shop features not only her latest book, but also lots of postcards and prints of vintage carnival photos, suitable for all manner of purposes.

If Heathen stuff is more your thing, Beth Wodanis has lots of yarns, beadworks, and even candles up at her FiberWitch shop! Most things look Heathen-themed, but a couple Hellenic-appropriate items are there, too. She’s even got a 25% off coupon (YULE2014)!

Galina Krasskova also has dozens of prayer cards up, including Heathen, Graeco-Roman, Egyptian, and other deities.

This is something that’s been around for a while, too, but for those who were unaware, Cauldron Farm has Pagan Prayer Beads and more great stuff at Mengloth’s Market.

And hey! Did you know both Wendy Rule and Sopor Aeternus had new albums this year? Rule’s Black Snake is, as always, quite excellent, and Sopor Aeternus’ Mitternacht is another stellar offering of creepy goodness.

Polyphanes/The Digital Ambler has some beautiful woodwork and beadwork with a Hermetic bend, in addition to some valuable PDF ebooks.

DocBrite/Billy Martin/the writer formerly known as Poppy Z Brite may not need the pitch from me, but he’s got lots of gorgeous ritual, art, and curiosity items up at PZBART.

For absinthe, tea, and Greek coffee rituals, you really can’t do better than the skull-shaped sugar lumps from DemBones.

And Bohemiart has long been a favourite of mine, using mixed media to create haunting images appropriate for shrines, altars, and decor.

Emily Balivet also has hundreds of art nouveau styled prints and original pieces inspired by mythology and goddesses.

Creatures From El is a shop of Guelph, Ontario-based sculptor, Ellen Jewett, and features only original, mixed-media pieces of fantastical creatures.

If you know people into fairy stuff, check out the Fairy Doors at Nothing But Wood –some function as outlet covers, but most have indoor/outdoor installation in mind (put one up in your child’s room so that the fairies can have easier access when they misbehave!)

And of course, Laurelei Black’s Blade & Broom Botanica has many beautiful, hand-crafted ritual items, e-books, and more!

I almost forgot Alley valkyrie’s Practical Rabbit shop –she’s got screen-printed thingers of all sorts: T-shirts, patches, flags, altar cloths, and even onesies for the babies!

And lastly, in addition to my art and Hellenic alphabet divination tiles, you can pick up some of the literally HUNDREDS of my badges (see the Religion and Magic section!) I’ve also got a coupon code in both shops (HAPPYNEWYEAR — 15% off $10 or more at Nocturnal Spirits, or 12% off %1.50 or more at OddModOut).

Clothing, Jewellery, & Accessories:

Vis-a-Vis Jewellery have dozens of goegeous moulded (reproduction) coin and cameo-styled jewellery in Greco-Roman, art nouveau, and other polytheist and pagan-friendly styles.

Liselotte Erikson at A Changeling’s Closet has many gorgeous headdresses to choose from (and a lot of watercolour prints, too –but the headdresses are my favourite!)

The Black Cat Closet has oodles of vintage clothes and jewellery for those with a dark and/or pagan/witchy aesthetic.

For your fairy-minded friends, check out the selection of wings from Fairy Trade, and the tutus and other cute accessories from Sisters of the Moon.

For the non-vegans on your gift list, Contrived to Charm has absolutely stunning tooled leather belts, bags, tarot pouches, and more.

Dreaded Jenocide has dozens of cute ear spirals, horns, and chokers, all handmade!

And to go with the Carnival Talk book and prints, check out these printed tights from Carousel Ink!

And I can’t leave out RavenEve jewellery –she’s been at this for about (at least?) twenty years, and is based in the Detroit area. She’s best known for hand jewellery and headdresses, including finger armour, “slave” bracelets, and diadems in art nouveau, art deco, and baroque styles, using a mix of vintage and new materials.

GLUCKS has lots of beautiful, pagan and Heathen bronze pendants.

Ugly Shyla is best known for her creepy art dolls (often based on dead children), but has recently been making jewellery with designs inspired by her long-held reverence for death, and her own New Orleans voodoo practises and interest in LaVey’s philosophies.

Oh! And I almost forgot: You know those faux-fur animal hats that were trendy last year? Do you know who started them? Etsy seller Cassandra Kettler at her shop Womp-A-Wear! Everyone else is a copycat. She’s part of the Burning Man community (and pagan, too, if I’m not mistaken) and has been making these at home for years. She does adult and child sizes, and can do custom sizes and add all sorts of embellishments (including side pockets and charms –and not to mention other accessories to go with your animal spirit hat, like boot covers and belts) that you can’t find on the cheap and crappy imitations at the mall.

One of my friends on FaceBook just invited me to like her shop, Elenari: Wands – Runes – Jewellery! She’s got gorgeous stuff, she loves spiral designs, it seems, and I’m putting it here cos she’s currently got more jewellery up than ritual stuff.


Remember, if there’s anything that I’m missing, or that you think I should have, leave a comment or send a message, and I’ll add it and a brief description to the above links! Feel free to spread this around to your own blogs or share it with your friends!

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

A story about the power of sacrifice

So, Wyrd Ways Radio just cut off for the fortnight, and there was a special treat on tonight’s show, if you missed it, live: I called in! I called in at about quarter before the end (in part cos i decided to take a day off from volunteering at WCBN, mainly from being tired, and I was sorting buttons, which, by the way, you should buy some from the Religion & Magic section, so i can buy a link on The Wild Hunt).

One of the things that Sannion and Galina brought up this fortnight was how secularised Protestantism has lousied up so much of Pagan culture, and that people will often (and I’ve seen many say as much, as well) practically wince at the idea of actually sacrificing to the gods in their personal practises. I called in to relate a story that my friend Jeff at PJ’s Used Records shared with me and one of the other customers this last Monday:

When Alexander was a child learning from the tutor at the palace, at one moment, he was being taught the proper method of sacrifice to the gods. His teacher showed several other boys, with Alexander at the end of the line (with the intent that Alexander would learn from the mistakes of others). The tutor and all other boys took a pinch of frankincense, a pinch of myrrh, and a pinch of storax, and sprinkled each into the sacrificial fire. When Alexander came up, he took huge handfuls of the frankincense, myrrh, and storax. The teacher was horrified, but held his tongue, but apparently still showed on his face.

Many years later, after several conquests, Alexander sent to that teacher huge cartfulls of frankincense, myrrh, and storax, and a note about how giving freely to the gods will mean the gods will freely give back.

This isn’t exactly as i gave it on Wyrd Ways, and it’s not exactly as Jeff gave it to me, but the important parts are all there and the lesson stays the same: When we give, not what seems appropriate to our sensibilities, but what we genuinely can, and give that freely and without reservation, the gods will give back.

The distinctly modern notion that ritual sacrifices are somehow “wasteful” is, indeed, a scurge on the pagan community and one of the distinctions I point to between the differences between the pagan and polytheist communities. While true that we carry with us a lot more cultural baggage into the religions we’ve converted to than we may realise, it’s only by shedding certain things, one at a time, that we truly open up our lives to the gods we honour.

One cannot be stingy with the gods. It’s not about giving beyond our means, it’s about giving freely of what we can; if all we can give at a time is a tablespoon or two of water, cos we’re just that impoverished, then we should give that, and give it freely. No-one has ever said that we should bankrupt ourselves for the gods in hopes of a greater return, but if we have it in our budgets to give more, then we should give proportionately to what we have, and give it freely.

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

Hellenist New York Metro Museum of Art Meet!

I probably can’t make it (if I’m lucky, I’ll be settling in that week, if I’m not so lucky, Nigel and I will be on a friend’s couch), but Kayleigh is arranging a meet-up for Hellenists at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC in 6 September! If that’s a good time for you, maybe you should go for me. 🙂 (I will take post cars at my P.O. Box!)

Since I can’t make it to this one, if everything goes well with the housing situation, I will vow to arrange a meet-up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the Island Park temple/Greek revival park shelter in 2015. I’m not decided on a date, yet, but it’s Apollon’s city in Michigan, and the park is nearby the hospital, so the date I pick will have such relevance. (Though I warn you, it’s possible I’ll need assistance in renting the park shelter –but if I don’t, all the better, right?)

GIVE UNTIL I FINALLY SHUT UP ABOUT IT!!!

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

Some comments from last year’s Miasma post

(I know Sannion recently linked to the previous post, but just in case you don’t read comments on principle [I’d understand if you did not –blog comments can be a hotbed of idiocy, as a general rule], I figured I’d post this exchange.)

Conor O’Bryan Warren on 15 April 2013 at 2:12 pm said:

I like this post. though I don’t share a similar stance. I was, however, under the impression that purification rituals developed as a physical cleanliness thing, then came to take on ‘deeper’ connotations I don’t mind being wrong of course.

Ruadhán J McElroy on 15 April 2013 at 3:45 pm said:

Well, the thing about the idea that the miasma concept evolved from bodily cleanliness, and only later took on deeper meaning, well, it seems to make sense for some things, but not for others. One clear anomaly in that theory is the virtual non-issue of menstruation in ancient Hellas —only later did the ancient understanding of menstruation, medically, really get to form, but you’d think that if it was *ever* considered a “pollutant”, then the ancient medical hypothesis of what menstruation actually is would be shaped by older notions, and that the idea of it as a “spiritual pollutant” would prevail –but it doesn’t. Even playing Devil’s Advocate and assuming that there was a time that it was considered a “dirty” presence in the Hellenic temples –well, it’s pretty damned weird that nothing survives of this. And I don’t mean “practically nothing”, which is basically shorthand for “one or two super-obscure fragments at most survive” —I mean nothing of the sort. Considering how widespread the idea of a woman’s cycle as being “dirty” was in the Mediterranean —even “Hellenised” Rome found this idea hard to shake from their own culture— it’s absolutely remarkably unusual that Hellenes have absolutely no taboos against it at all, not even at a time when it was less-understood than it became were there Hellenic menstruation taboos. It was just one of those “women’s mysteries”, and it seemed the men would assume women knew best how to deal with it.

This isn’t really something I can just shrug and go “oh well, agree to disagree” on, cos the menstruation anomaly isn’t the only one that exists within the history of religious miasma. The “first hygenic, later spiritual” hypothesis seems to just stink of this atheistic ideal within modern Western Classical Studies that aims to paint pre-Christian Hellenic religion as this sort of proto-Jungian borderline atheism. In some taboos, the “first hygenic…” hypothesis seems to make sense, but from early on, there were a lot of anomalous quirks to miasma. Furthermore, for the most part, miasma simply didn’t extend to household worship –or it was at least treated far less rigorously by the ancients (unless you were Hesiod —but Hesiod’s got subscriptions 😉 ). I know the ancient Hellenes liked to preen and loved their baths, but with kids getting sniffles left and right, one’s own parents and grandparents dying, often in the house, and one and one’s Missus fucking like rabbits sufficiently far from the hearth, in order to maintain a steady population of Hellenelings, it’d be a wonder that people could leave the house at all, much less sit to eat a meal, if they were religiously bound to washing themselves before every meal, or passing the shrine to the household gods. Hell, it’s a wonder even Hesiod didn’t die by scrubbing himself raw, if miasma was a widespread major household taboo. If it was “first hygenic”, then why was household [observation of miasma] so lax [when Hellenes were incredibly religious]? Surely people noticed that they got sick from their family members more often than others, even in Hesiod’s day. If it was “first hygenic”, then why a complete absence of menstrual taboos? If it was “first hygenic”, then why parade dead people through the streets, potentially infecting the whole neighbourhood?

The reality is that “spiritual miasma” actually far predates “miasma” as an all-purpose word for “poison air disease theory”, as the word was repurposed in the 19th Century for the “poison air” hypothesis of how diseases spread. The link with the word “miasma” and physical pollution, as best as I can tell, is far newer than miasma as spiritual pollutant.


(ETA on 27 July 2014)
Hey, did you know that I’m STILL raising funds for my upcoming move back to the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area. Want to know how the town got the name Ypsilanti? I think I’ll do my next post on that…. Trust me, it’ll make my practises double-plus Hellenic.

I’m also giving away Heathen goddess prayer cards.

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

Sometimes, I think I might be different from most people…

(Here’s something that’s been sitting in my Draft folder since at least August 2013, just figured I’d pick up where I left off and see what happens with it.)

…and that this might be especially true with regards to the pagan community.

First off, I was never interested in Wicca. I’ve seen literally dozens of people all over the Internet and in real life claim that Wicca is a starting point for all pagans, a shared experience to some extent, for all Western pagans. This is simply not true, for myself. All I know about Wicca is mostly from a combination of the old “Why Wiccans Suck” and the Wicca For the Rest of Us sites and a handful of things I’ve seen others say on blogs, LiveJournal communities, and e-mail lists. Most of these “sources” assumed a passing familiarity with many NeoWicca basics, and I gotta say, I still don’t know what “casting circles” or “crossing quarters” exactly is or is supposed to do in ritual, I have an idea based on the things I’ve read, but I’m not sure I could identify it, if I saw it. Wicca was never a part of my journey, and so this is likely the main way I’m simply not like pagans –I’m not very familiar with that language, and it’s not at all an experience I share.

Secondly, I don’t “revere” nature in the same ways that I see from a majority of pagans. I recycle my rubbish and I compost in honour of the nymphai, but my primary interest in avoiding processed food is cos of allergies and other immediate health concerns, rather than the borderline tin-foil-hat ravings against “Frankenfoods”. I say “borderline” because they’re often based in some evidence of experimentation, but no evidence that the sort of experimentation that they speak of will ever enter the mainstream food sources; furthermore, while Monsanto is certainly an evil Capitalist corporation, the whole idea behind engineering resistant crop seeds lays in the compassionate hope to feed more people for less money, including people in deeply impoverished areas in industrialised and non-industrialised countries, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s pretty telling that the overwhelming majority of people who are anti-GMO, across the board, are affluent white people from industrial countries. Humans have been modifying food crops since the dawn of agriculture —it’s kind of how Mesoamericans evolved maize (sweetcorn) from being a completely inedible mutant grass (look up “pod corn” sometime) into the staple crop that would eventually come to dominate the agricultural industry of the Americas. All that’s happened in this last century is technological advances that that accelerate the process by actually examining the genetics faster than the trial-and-error hybridisation observed by Mendel, and also the multi-billion-dollar industry that makes a basic human need and a once-compassionate idea into an unstoppable corporation that exploits its means to penalise small farmers. There’s hardly a single thing humans eat today, save for the cultures that still subsist on game and insects as a major protein source, that isn’t a “genetically modified organism”. This technology can, and has been, a good thing that can literally feed the world, if bourgeoisie honkies and those aspiring to be and /or aping said would take a step back and examine the underlying classism and racism in what they’re saying when they talk about banning this technology as a whole. I’ll agree that some additives are best done without, and that there does seem to be a strong correlation between eating highly preserved foods and poor health, but I’m not so self-centred and ignorant as to believe that simply modifying a crop’s or a livestock’s genetics is a problem, in and of itself. Might it be a problem to introduce one of the highly experimental modifications into the main source crops? Sure. Might there be problems with this accelerated modification several generations down he line? Possibly, but probably not as much as the anti-GMO crowd certainly wants people to believe –if anything, any health risks associated with that accelerated genetic selection will happen more slowly and be less apparent until it affects millions of people, doing it the old-fashioned way.

Then there’s the fact that I REALLY don’t understand why some of, apparently, the most popular pagan bloggers are. From Star “Foster Care” (yeah, I know she tries to pretend she’s “not a pagan blogger anymore”, but from what I’ve gathered from certain people who just feel this inexplicable need to keep me informed on the various minutia of the pagan & polytheist blogosphere, she sure continues to do a lot of whining about how she’s not a pagan blogger anymore, which just makes me think of the kind of atheist bloggers who whine about Christians and how they aren’t Christian, and then act surprised when no-one takes them seriously when they insist that they do more than whine about Chrirstians), to (now ex-pagan) Teo Bishop/Matthew Morris and his shit-eating grin. It’s always that the most popular pagan bloggers tend to have the least to say, but allot more time and energy into saying it than those who are actually pretty interesting, and because of a combination of that, savvy social connections, and sheer persistence, guess who gets the attention for it? It’s not that I necessarily have anything against certain people (though sometimes that changes), and I know their fangirls will always try and insist otherwise, but it really isn’t jealousy. It’s sheer bewilderment that some-one can drone on and on about how much they “never wanted to be a big-name pagan, but poor me, I took a high-profile position at a popular webzine and volunteered to go on CNN and all that shit, anyway” or about how much they really don’t understand how ritual circles work, and dozens, even hundreds of people –other bloggers and mere commentators alike– will sit and applaud, as if this complete nonsense was somehow meaningful, or perhaps confusing ignorance with insight. I mean, I guess if I think about it, I can concoct a few reasons for how this dullness ends up as “the voice of pagan blogging” and how watered-down drivel like Silver Ravenwolf is Llewellyn’s international best-seller: Pagans don’t give a shit about excellence. They want voices that they can relate to more than they want someone to look up to, which possibly reveals a resistance to personal, spiritual growth. They’re so paranoid of any semblance of authority that they’ll buy the notion that some of the least-noteworthy ideas are worthy of a blog entry, just as easily as they’ll buy Scott Cunningham telling them that a “self-initiation” is as valid as a real initiation into a traditional coven, no matter how much the very phrase “self-initiation” smacks of contradiction. I mean, hell, bloggers and Llewellyn authors aren’t the only “pagan writers” lacking in standards of excellence; do a search for “diane paxson, marion zimmer bradley, walter breen sex abuse” and tell me that the pagan community isn’t quick to turn a blind eye to unsavoury associations because someone did something they liked, I fucking dare you.

And don’t get me started on pagan music. A good 85-90% of the pagan music I’ve heard is half-arsed filk that’s barely better than what an especially eloquent toddler might write. The best pagan music is usually in the Gothic or Neofolk genres, and while I certainly won’t deny that SOME Neofolk artists maintain unsavoury associations on par with the kiddie-diddling that Paxson and Bradley were enabling and covering-up (and Bradley, at least, partaking in herself), not only are many (if not most) not maintaining such associations, at least not directly (seriously, Leonard Cohen was one of the major influences on the Neofolk genre, and if you listen to Leonard Cohen, you kind of fail at Nazi) but some Neofolk artists are Far Left or simply apolitical, and yet possibly the most-deserving big pagan blogger, Jason Pitzl-Waters at The Wild Hunt, often seems on a campaign to portray the entire genre as just a bunch of Neonazis when, let’s be frank, there’s far more damaging evidence that Eric Clapton is a fascist than the members of Spiritual Front (yes, I know Simone Salvatori did a song on that tribute album to Codreanu, but he also lists Discharge, an anarcho-punk, Leftist, and pacifist band as one of his all-time favourites –at best, you’ve got evidence that he’s “trolling”, as my humanoid meat-based housemate would say). Then there’s the fact that, many “Martial” bands that make no secret about cozying up to Fascism (even though there’s a handful of clearly Left-wing martial musos, as well). It’s not hard to learn any of this —I don’t have nearly the search engine magics that my humanoid meat-based housemate does, and I can still figure out pretty easily that no, not all Neofolk has “murky politics”, and if challenged on calling out a band or artist, I don’t just brush it off with “trust me, I’m a goth”, as if that makes me some kind of authority on a different scene (albeit one with significant cross-over appeal, but a different scene, nonetheless), I cite my fucking sources.

Then there’s the goddamned polyamourists. In theory, I have nothing against those who have multiple informed romantic/sexual partners, but let’s get a few things straight:

Polyamoury ≠ “Free Love”. The latter was a Victorian anti-marriage/proto-feminist movement, and real Free Love proponents actually frowned on the notion of multiple partners for the simple fact that it’s not what their movement was about –it was about the freedom to cohabitate and raise a family with another person out of love without being subjected to the borderline slavery of Victorian marriage laws. Polyamoury is about “being in love” and having sex with multiple people, all of whom are ostensibly aware, at least in passing, of one’s other relationships. Some polyamourists are married (a notion that appalls true proponents of Free Love) and cohabitation is not a requirement or necessarily a goal, with any of one’s lovers, whereas Free Love is about at least hoping to find a mate for pair-bonding and cohabitation, even if the couple is under no pretentions of this being a lifelong arrangement.

Then there’s the goddamned “poly-” cultists, who seem damned determined to make sure everyone is like them, especially if they’re of the sort that can’t actually be in a functional interpersonal relationship of any sort (with the ostensible exception of biological relatives -but you can never tell with some people) unless sex is eventually going to happen with this other person. of course, is that really a functional relationship model?

And not to mention the fact that even Oberon Zell, who arguably introduced the concept to the pagan community in the 1970s/80s, has even said, “serial monogamy may just be the human default“, and has said it without any sense of judgement, but just as a simple fact that people should keep in mind.

So there’s very little common ground between myself and most self-identified “pagans”, and while I’m totally cool with that, it does help keep me weird.


While I have you here, were you aware that I’m still seeking Moving expense donations?

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

[insert my ‘alright, that’s it, spankings all around’ face]

gothpagans001

I’m about ready to give up on the “Goth Wiccans, Pagans, & Spiritualists” group on FarceBorg, but it’s the occasional stuff like this that makes me think it’s worth staying, just to counter misinformation.

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

Spiders and Fate

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About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

Responses to Readers

So, it seems that the WordPress software is really lousy at telling me I have messages coming in on my contact form –which you’d think would be something that would’ve been built into that feature from the get-go, but oh well, here we are. The last I checked these was 4 October 2013, apparently, so here’s one that I really ought to have addressed much sooner after the person sent me the message:

Hi I am a young man, very interested in magic, mysticism, spirituality and working with divine beings. I have currently been attempting to work with the hindu form of cupid known as Kama, I have been doing many mantras and quite a few practices for about a little less than two years now, to be honest I am not really seeing results this I believe is due to the fact that one must practice chastity or abstain from sex when performing Yoga practices (I am terrible at this part, lol). However, what I am looking for is beauty, and powers in love, the ability to infatuate so to speak, therefore I find myself having quite and affinity to cupid and venus and a strong desire to find methods or worshipping and communicating with them myself. I dont really have any money to offer you, and to be honest I don’t want you to communicate with them for me, I would like the knowledge and the method of worshiping anything you can give me would be of great help, thank you.

Hello there. I’m a polytheist, a pluralist, and while I do have a respect for magic, I really hope that you’re saying “work with” in the sense that one “works withs” one’s co-workers, rather than in the sense that one “works with” clay or paints. While I’m clearly in no position to make people change how they believe, if you’re coming to my blog, asking for my advice or assistance, I’m going to give it from a position of my own beliefs, and I believe that it is impious to “work with” a deity in the same way one “works with” a camera or a screwdriver or any other tool or medium.

Next up, I certainly know about Kama, but I also do not believe that He is simply a “Hindu form of” Cupid or Eros –likewise, I do not believe that Eros or Cupid are one-in-the-same. I therefore don’t believe my relationship with one of these deities automatically gives me insight into how any of the others operate –it would be like writing a book report on Dracula by watching the film The Lost Boys, both are about vampires, both offer themes of seduction and feature characters who hunt down vampires, but ultimately these are two different stories.

As for what you seek, I don’t know how I can help you with that, but my advice is that, if you feel drawn to worshipping Cupid and Venus, seek the traditional ways They were worshipped by the Romans. Give offerings that are traditional and that contemporary worshippers give, and give them freely as you pray and ask the deities for Their blessings in those areas.

While I am under the impression that there are similarities between Hellenic and Italic worship, I would not risk stating they are the same. Unfortunately, the only Roman polytheists I’m aware of is the group Nova Roma; they have a website which has a lot of information on it, and their section on Roman religion would be a great place to start.

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

I’ve Been Asked to Take on an Annual Publication

No, not by Anyone corporeal. You remember this convo, right?

Once upon a time, I was music editor for a very short-lived Goth magazine —after my editor-in-chief got screwed over by a few people, including a printer, the only reason that the first issue (and only) exists at all is cos of Lulu.com. Which kind of pissed me off, but all-in-all, if the printer didn’t screw us over, the magazine might’ve very well been doomed to fold within a few issues, anyway, cos my former-EIC still swears to this days that if not for one other person and myself on her staff of about a dozen people, there probably wouldn’t’ve even been a first issue, cos it seemed most people signed up just to say that they wrote for a Goth magazine rather than cos they enjoyed writing. Of course, I could also go on about how I turned down paid writing offers cos of all the time and energy I was devoting to the magazine just to watch it collapse like a house of cards once the cat senses something happening on the table (fuck you, kitty).

So, I’m aiming for about 150 – 250 pages for the first volume.

The title I’m working with is Nocturnal Spirits, and the sub-title is “An Annual of Gothically-Inclined and Spiritual Art & Writing”. I’d be enthralled if other people wanted to donate pieces, but I’m not considering it necessary, at this point, and I’m expecting it to be mostly my own stuff, anyway. I also just found my never-before-published interview with Rodney Anonymous of The Dead Milkmen and, later (with his wife Vienna) the Gothic-folk combo Burn Witch Burn, so that’ll be in this, as well.

If you feel inclined to donate a piece, keep these guidelines and rules in mind:

  1. I’m on disability. At this time, I don’t think I’ll be able to pay anyone for contributions to the first volume, so consider it a donation.
  2. Because of my experiences with Spooky Magazine, all donated pieces should be e-mailed to me and a) should be in a Word .doc or .rtf file, and b) MUST be prefaced with a cover letter that acknowledges that this is being given freely for non-exclusive publication rights to Ruadhán J McElroy and Nocturnal Spirits without any expectation of payment; the cover letter should contain your full legal name (if different from your by-line), e-mail address, and an electronic signature (if you cannot make an electronic signature, talk to me, we can work something out). If things turn out well, I might be able to swing 3 – 5¢/word for pieces up to 1000 words in future issues, but this first one I simply cannot do that for.
  3. Pieces can be on just about anything relating to the gothic subculture and/or spirituality. I’m not going to publish everything people send to me, so if you want to stand out, pieces related to Khthnoic or otherwise “dark” deities (any pantheon –sorry I don’t know the equivalent of Khthonoi for other pantheons), and anything that relates to both the gothic subculture *and* spirituality would be excellent.
  4. Some ideas i have no idea what to do with that I’ll allow some people to steal (or at least do their own versions of): Detailed experiences with a deity on the dancefloor, deities you associate with members of The Addams Family (cos I’m corny like that), are you spiritually energised by the night, poetry for the blessed, honoured, or deified dead, why doesn’t it get any realer than cults to the dead… Some other, broader ideas i have: Pieces about history, classic literature, films, philosophy, aesthetics, etc…
  5. You can donate photography or other artwork, but to keep things inexpensive, I’m publishing in glorious B&W, so if it doesn’t look good rendered in B&W, I might reject it.
  6. Short pieces of fiction are acceptable, especially in the form of mythology (re-written or modern).

In theory, I’ll accept pieces about spirituality that relate to just about any path, but seeing as the Wiccanate do still have a few quarterly rags to have their stuff published, traditional/ancestral/recon polytheism-related pieces will be moved to the front of the line, because that’s how i roll.

Feel free to spread this like plague.

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

I know it’s another night before the New Boeotian Calendar New Year

…but Happy New Year!

Unfortunately, I was feeling too under the weather to go out to a friend’s party, but at least I had a peach lambic (cos Etsy was good to me, this year) to share with Eros.

Resolutions for the coming year:

* Get back into regular morning and evening devotional rituals –I know I advocate it like woah, but long story short, I do believe it’s the best way to approach polytheistic religion, but my time off was between myself and the Theoi.
* Exercise daily –I know everyone adds this, but I really need to. I don’t really overeat, so my tendency to favour sedentary activities is clearly the main reason I’m fat and my health is going down the drain. I plan to make it a devotional act to Apollon to keep me motivated.
* Finish my reading list for reviews on this blog that I wrote up in summer of 2014.
* Complete at least Book Two of The Mod Stories, ideally both Books Two and Three. Not really a devotional/polytheist /pagan thing, but if you remember my talk about my creative process from Wyrd Ways Radio back in October, it can certainly have its spitited moments.
* Take whatever writing opportunities I may get.
* Do a fundraiser to attend the Hellenic Revival Gathering in November.
* Create divination system using Marc Bolan lyrics (similar to Homeric Oracle, and Sannion’s Oracle of The Doors)

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.