Just in case some of you have been too busy watching someone jerk their knee to notice…

From I Hear You: To Publish or Not, Recusing, and The Feminist 5

If you are interested in my interview with Ruth, you may read it here. The commentary however is telling of a wider dialogue. One that our community needs to have. One I tried to facilitate unsuccessfully.

Seems there’s a bit of a nontroveresy over this, which would be apparent by simply reading the whole of an article, as opposed to taking the word of an infantilizing self-appointed propagandist and failed “cult leader”, who need not be named.

This is my final word on the matter, as I have already stated on the FB companion page, if the only way I can keep this philosophy relevant is by creating shit to stir, then I have failed this philosophy, Eros Himself, and my own life. I actually feel really bad for people so consumed by their own quest for a need to have power over a small, and notably shrinking circle of yes-men that they can only feign contentment by creating a bizarre and contradictory “Us or Them” party line whilst obstinately accusing others of the same, regardless of the evidence.

Putting any more thought into this matter, in any way, is contradictory to the pursuit of life’s pleasures.

Today, I played a new game, I had ice cream, sold a hundred buttons to the burger place up the street, ordered a personal-size pizza, played with a rat I’m fostering, wrote new songs, recorded myself singing on the street-corner by the Dairy Queen and posted it to Patreon, really took in how my legs feel in velveteen yoga pants, and talked to Eros about where this should all be going. Over this last week, I struck a deal with Erato and Euterpe that if I practice and start recording on my harmonium, They could help with my data recovery. Right now, I’m going to have that jar of raspberry sorbet that is crowding up my freezer, and later this weekend, I’m getting an antique 1930s cast iron floor lamp for my birthday from my friends at the antique store.

Life without pleasure is drudgery and torture, and a life with the willing engagement of pain is even worse.

Engage whatever pleasures made available to us, avoid all pains we possibly can. This is the first lesson of Erotic Hedonism.

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.

Erotic Hedonism on Perfection in Nature

Nature is not perfect. This may seem absurd to your average pagan, but bear with me:

Consider the design of human beings is really inefficient. Compared to other mammals close to our size, or even in our genus, our infants are born especially helpless and underdeveloped. Plus, our backs aren’t very well-suited for walking upright without assistance — not in the long term; we can manage it when very young, but after the age of thirty, a Posture Pal can’t really help us (fun fact for goths, though: The best period in human posture was the era of the corsets — a majority of men wore them, too, until the Edwardian). I know my friend Scott and others with a background in biology have discussed this in greater detail. As a “finished product”, human beings are very poorly designed, we may not even be good enough to submit as a working prototype, by some standards. Hell, if I was a television, I would’ve been replaced at the age of 24 due to all the design flaws being too much to take — and I’d only been put on the shelf at age 19! Definitely not one of those heavy-duty 1950s sets that took about two months to build, and will still work, today. Any design that takes as long to reach an ideal state as my own physical body, but is barely functioning five years later doesn’t stay in production for long.

And pandas have the internal biology for an obligate carnivore, but their diet is 90%+ vegetarian — the mother’s milk is so lacking in vital nutrients that they have the highest infant mortality rate of large mammals.

Even plants, while certainly better-designed than large, multicellular animals, there are certainly a lot of issues that can appear, when you really know what you’re looking at. Many plants native to the same places and the same habitats — some will need significantly more water or sunshine, others won’t. Laurel and rosemary are very well-adapted to periodic droughts of their native Mediterranean, but oregano and sage, also native to Greece, need water, daily, and more than you’d probably think. Part of this may be due to cultivation by humans, but not all of it, since humans have been messing around with the genetics of plants since the dawn of agriculture, and will generally aim for two goals: 1) How do we make this thing more-edible, and 2) how do we make it hardier, so it can put up with us? I mean, do you know how easy it is to drown rosemary? Easier than underwatering sage, I’ll say that much.

There’s even an ancient truism about the olive tree: An olive tree can shed and disperse a thousand seeds a year for a thousand years, and maybe only a dozen trees will come of it; true, not every tree can survive, but for such a “perfect” creation to spread so many imperfect seeds suggests an internal flaw, as mortals understand “perfection”, which is all we can really understand. It just doesn’t speak to a “perfect” design, is speaks to Someone being stubborn and saying “nope, it’s mine and I’ll fix it on my terms — in the meantime, I’ll get back to smiting those people for that clockwork horror in the 1982 Clash of the Titans.”

The Gods have their own ideas about what to do with things here on Earth, and are constantly tinkering around. “Perfect” is for New Age Christianity — it’s generally unattainable on the mortal level, in all areas. Our realm definitely hosts things that are very impressive, but the Gods Who concern Themselves with our physical world are the artists Who’re never fully satisfied with what turns out, so when They think of improvements, They go and adjust. That’s kind of antithesis to “perfection”, perfect works need no improvements, they’re already perfect. There may be a method to the madness, but it’s definitely far from perfect.

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.

Lion, peafowl, betta splendens, bird of paradise, chicken, frigatebird, sheep, bovid, African elephant….

It’s not hard to see why the Ornithine and certain Ikhthuine races of this world are of Eros. Men who fail to express beauty, rather than just appreciate it, and women who fail to express strength, rather than simply recognise it, have failed Eros’ Hedonism. This is not for those content with conformity; if you want that, please go back to Epicurus. Those who will learn life from Erotic Hedonism must go against the expectations of their gender, not just in principle, but in practise; philosophy, literally “love of wisdom”, is for living, not for merely talking and thinking, and any teacher or student of philosophy who fails to live it, has failed not only their school, but they have failed philosophy’s primary goal: Life.

Nine years, stuck on my eyes. (Dead? No, madam. Not dead the way you know it. He is with us always. Not dead the way you know it. He is with us always.) Less than nine, if we shall get technically correct —it is, indeed, the only correct.

Pleasure can only be sought and found by those who can’t be bothered with what is “normal”. Sure, maybe you’re not overly concerned with normality, but you just *are*, right? This is not your path, it will only lead you to contentedness, not pleasure as we know it, there is absolutely nothing we can offer you, and that you will actually put to use, that cannot be found in a nice cup of tea. Not everything needs to be about you — indeed, not everything needs to be open to you. You are not entitled to tattoo your hands, neck, or face unless you are already adequately tattooed on enough other bodily areas, which is the decision for a scrupulous artist, not for you, to make. Eros has no need for you people in His Hedonism — He does not, now, nor will He, in nine years, what a surprise. (Dead? No, madam. Not dead the way you know it. He is with us always. Not dead the way you know it. He is with us always.)

There is a peculiar notion….

…but that is the way things are.

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.

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Usually Deep Dream decides that pictures need dog faces all over. This is the first time I’ve seen it decide on birds all over — which is interesting, as this is a religious tattoo, and I’d considered elevating it to the symbol of Erotic Hedonism (Eros = arrow; Moirai = Thread, Nyx & Psykhe = luna moth)

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.

How to measure a good life?

It is said that one day in Athens, Plato encountered Diogenes washing lettuces in the market, and said to his fellow philosopher that if he would have only taught the heirs of kings, he would not need to be washing lettuces. In response, Diogenes replied that if Plato had only decided to wash lettuces, he would not need to be coddling heirs.

Both men believed that they were in possession of a good life, free from care and worry, but obviously living very different lives. Certain popular philosophers of modernity would have us believe that there is only one “objectively” correct man (and many would want us to believe that it is Plato). The fact of the matter is, though, that “happiness” is, and always has been, a purely hypothetical concept. While pleasure can be observed through the responses to stimuli of neural preceptors in the brain (and even this, is not a universal truth in defining what is pleasurable stimuli), “happiness” is forever elusive.

Diogenes defined his Happiness as a total freedom from social convention, to the extreme of living as a beggar who slept in a discarded bathtub (ostensibly not surrounded by four walls covered in pictures of shapely tits1 — but who knows what kind of graffiti he may have been surrounded by?)

Plato defined his Happiness from an ivory tower, living, by any definition, not merely a comfortable, but conventionally luxurious life. Though ostensibly not taking payment in money, he clearly took to the habit of, as Aristippus of Cyrene might consider, being in the possession of his pupils/employers.

Of course, as a Hedonist, I prefer to take my tip from Aristippus: I possess, I am not possessed. While my life may, on the surface, seem more in line with portrayals of Socrates’ later years (as portrayed by his biographers of Plato and Xenophon) — subsisting in no small part on disability benefits and gift monies, revelling in a good party but, in no practical way, hosting, etc… — the principle reigns that I’m not possessed by money as much as I possess the pleasures that money can, and cannot, buy.

Money is only of value when it can serve individual goals of pleasure and happiness, to possess more than one needs at any one time is to simply become possessed by it. A good life is not something that can be bought into, it’s something one either possesses or does not, and like any possession, it can be acquired or lost.


1: Likely a very obscure reference, especially to any readers who fancy themselves above watching pornography. If you want to get the ref, though, seek out a bizarre little opus of 1990s titty-flicks called Hootermania. Trust me, it’s *much* weirder than the title suggests, and is especially hilarious to Arthurian nerds.

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.

Reducing Miasma

As I’m on my way to teaching Erotic Hedonism, in a position of soon-to-be teacher, I’m cutting certain miasmic elements from my day-to-day.

As soon as I’ve finished the last of these cheap turkey dogs in my freezer, I’m cutting factory-farmed meat from my consumption. I’m not cutting meat as a whole, I still believe much of this, like my position on plant sentience, rings true (though some things I’ve rethought on examination of better data), but the conditions of factory-farmed livestock is one I find inherently miasmic, and I’ll be more conscious of meat consumed.

That said, I doubt this will be something expected of all who wish to learn from Erotic Hedonism, but when I pass down my knowledge to an heir to teach it, it will be.

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.

Hedonist priorities….

Thoughts consume me, so I took put every variety of incense I own, libated some Perrier, and asked to use one of the bargaining chips I was offered at the beginning.

might seem petty to some, but the sensual feeds the ascetic. Inhn spite of some of the recent hardships, I am happier now than I have been in a long time, but last week reminded me that I missed something.

You see, the sensual feeds the ascetic.

I want this. I hope I don’t need reinforcement.

Beauty is pleasure.

Pleasure is wisdom.

To possess beauty is to touch Life.

I will pray daily for this, even after I have it, for it will be proof to me that Life has touched me and wanted me whole.

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.

experience = knowledge ≠ truth

All we can ever truly know is what we experience. Even observations become things that are done to us, but what about truth?

Truth largely escapes us because we cannot know and understand every potential factor of what was behind the experience. My cat cannot possibly have a full understanding of what motivates me to clip his claws, just that I tend to do it every week or so and I give him treats immediately after, so he puts up with it. To him, he may be putting together that this is to keep him tidy (he seems smart enough to figure out doorknobs open doors, and will tap them to command me to clear this obstruction from his ability to do his duties as a cat and explore and check shit out), or he may just think it’s some bizarre ritual I’ve concocted because I’m weird; my abilities to communicate this desire to keep him tidy directly to him are limited to what he can understand of my verbal and physical language (and cats are far more visual in their language abilities than verbal, this is 100% true, no matter how much your cat vocalises at you, he is vocalising more for your sake than his own), so I have a duty to keep the motion as smooth as possible — for his pleasure as well as my own — even though the truth of the situation may, indeed, be forever elusive to him.

We get hints of truths, but the whole truth of any situation tends, indeed, to forever evade us. Truth isn’t what one makes of it, necessarily, but it’s a folly to assume that one’s knowledge, especially if coming from admittedly limited sources, is ever sufficient to cast irrevocable judgement. There is always room for more experiences and more knowledge; to shut off oneself from potentially gaining further knowledge, no matter how seemingly small the area, is to betray one’s moral failing with regards to the topic of Truth. Hedonists, especially, have a moral obligation to keep the door open on Truths, be they of the physical or spiritual worlds.

Refusing knowledge serves only to create rough motions, pain, in one’s life. It serves Strife in the worst possible ways — not the side of the Goddess that challenges us, but the Eris Who furthers our hardships and suffering. Only accepting knowledge can break the cycle and truly serve Hedone and, ultimately, Eros.


“I am being purpled by this blanket.”

We may appear to be in agreement that the blanket appears purple, but what even is that? What in the world does that even mean? Is it the colour we think it is? If you’re ill, you may see it more as red than purple, and only agree with me because you believe you saw the same blanket before, and you cannot possibly know that I’m telling you the truth, but it makes sense to you to agree with me in the situation, for whatever your reasons may be. The reality is, you know you saw a purple blanket once before, and you know you see a reddish blanket now that bears an otherwise striking resemblance to the purple one, but even if it can be otherwise proved to you that it’s the same as the purple blanket you saw a week ago, from where you currently sit, this is merely a similar, but red, blanket — your immediate knowledge has changed the facts of this blanket, and they may change in the future, so the truth of the blanket will ultimately be elusive since now you know that one’s knowledge can change one’s perceptions of the truth.

To further complicate matters, I could point out that neither one of us could even really be seeing a blanket, this could very well be an illusion.

But the conundrum of the colour is still in need of address:

Even if we’re both healthy, we cannot be certain that we both see the same colour 100%, double-triple-quadruple checked certain that my purple is your purple is Frankie’s purple is The One True Ultimate Purple of This Blanket, so what is there to do? And if one sees a different colour, one may or may not be sick, one may just be colourblind. “Objective reality” does not exist in any meaningful way to mortals, because the tools used to observe this, our own senses, are themselves variables, and consensus on those observations from a group cannot be trusted because there is too much room for variance in intent of what we mean by what we say when we say “purple”, because the more people added to the committee, the more likely a variable in consensus will be hidden.

Do we thus offer complete honesty and risk the rough motion of an argument? This is not an issue for Hedonists, as the Hedonist will accept that there are potentially infinite variables that may alter one’s own or another’s perceptions. Outside of that scope, it’s harder to say.

Experiences are inevitable, and knowledge is an obligation a life lived for its pleasures, but truth, even at its best, is elusive.

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.

Though I am not in any position yet to teach it. …

Though I am not yet in any position to teach others, not for almost ten years still, I have been compelled by my Teachers, to spell out a few points on Erotic Hedonism, lest some skim a Wikipedia article on the Cyrenaic school and assume I am learning things that I am not, or not learning things that I am:

* Though Erotic Hedonism may be described as Neo-Cyreniaic, as that is our starting point, it differs in some key ways:

1. Though academia seems to overwhelmingly claim that the Hedonist schools of Hellas and her colonies were borderline or outright atheist, there can simply be no question that Erotic Hedonism holds that the reality, plurality, and autonomy of the Theoi is not only self – evident (and that the ancient Hedonists belief in Them is also self – evident), but that the Theoi are to be actively worshipped and praised for all of life’s pleasures. The Theoi are real, multiple Divine beings that Erotic Hedonists actively worship.

2. Though the Cyrenaic school is certainly our starting point, Erotic Hedonism also incorporates the wisdom of the Cynics, the Atomists, and the Pluralists, as well as those of the modern eras, including Oscar Wilde, Derek Jarman, Beau Brummel, Lydia Lunch, and others Who will become known.

* Though Erotic Hedonism places no limits on the gods one may worship, within the Erotic Hedonist tradition, the deities held in highest esteem are, in no particular order: Eros, Nyx, Hedone, Psykhe, the Moirai, the Khairetes, the Moisa, Apollon.

* A Devotional path is not mandatory for the Erotic Hedocist, except for those who are teaching others Erotic Hedonism. Of course, not all Erotic Hedonists living a Devotional path are necessarily compelled to teach.

That is all, for now.

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.

Erotic Hedonism

In ten years, should I choose to, I am told that I will be ready to teach others what I am learning. Mark this date: 19 February 2025. This new school will be founded on the anniversary of the passing of a great Hero of Ours, one who lived in beauty and for pleasure and love.

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.