Dionysos painting for sale! (and a Call for Submissions)

dionysos

So I’ve finally posted my Dionysos painting for sale up at the Nocturnal Spirits shop, and it’s $55 (before P&P). I offered it to Sannion and/or Galina, first, but unfortunately, while they love it, they had to pass for reasons, but let’s hope that someone will dig it enough to get it –or any of the other paintings currently up.

so for readrs of this blog, i also figured I’d offer a coupon code:

HAPPYNEWYEAR will get you 15% off any purchase at the Nocturnal Spirits shop of $10 or more (which is basically anything except the PDF calendar, right now), and this is good until the end of the month of Boukatios, the first month of the Boeotian year (if you want to know when that is, why haven’t you purchased a calendar, yet? Or you could try asking nicely, I might say….)

I also wanted to give a shout-out to this call for submissions from Burning Heart Press:

Burning Heart Press is creating an anthology of nonfiction essays, poems, and art from queer and transgender pagans and/or polytheists. We want to hear stories about how sexuality and gender influence your practice, your devotions, and your relationships with the Divine. We’d like to create more conversation on coming out as queer or transgender, shapeshifting, the (holy?) silence of not coming out, gender magic, transitioning, and how we do it wrong to learn to get it right. Submissions from people of all genders and sexualities accepted. Submissions from transgender people will be prioritized.

Texts promoting oppressive content will not be considered.

Editor Oliver Leôn Hêrês is a Canadian journalist, poet, and trans rights advocate. Direct submissions to oliverheres@burningheartpress.com.

The deadline is February 9th 2015. The title is tentative.

I am thinking of submitting something, myself, but i can’t decide if I want to polish up something from the blog or write something new.

…and speaking of anthologies, I’m going to be on a writing/editing bender very shortly to get the first volume of the Nocturnal Spirits annual out shortly before or after the Boeotian New Year (depends on how fast I can get shit done and in). And this is also going to be the first book I’ll be publishing under the Arete Kyrene Press imprint (my fiction has been published as SHS Publishing), named for the daughter of Aristippus the Elder.

She is said to have publicly taught natural and moral philosophy in the schools and academies of Attica for thirty-five years, to have written forty books, and to have counted among her pupils one hundred and ten philosophers. She was so highly esteemed by her countrymen that they inscribed on her tomb an epitaph which declared that she was the splendour of Greece and possessed the beauty of Helen, the virtue of Thirma, the pen of Aristippus, the soul of Socrates and the tongue of Homer.

Also: If you want to keep up on my WCBN shenanigans and the local Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti Gothic Gatherings, I’ve got a blog for that. Not sure when I’ll be on the air again, my final apprenticeship email has yet to get back with me, so I’m going to try a few other people; after that is the Broadcaster’s Exam (and it sounds like I’ll have to be an idiot to not pass it), and then I’ll be subbing until they can fit me into the schedule, but if you want to listen online and call up with requests or just harass me at the station when it’s time for that, you can do it!


Love this blog? Want to make sure I can support myself and keep posting more writing and art on here? Please consider donating to my Patreon fund, even a dollar a month can go a long way, especially if I can get a bunch of people in on that. And think about it, even if you only donate $5/month, it’s cheaper than most subscription porn sites. ☺

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.

Achlys

Some say She is older than Khaos,
not as impossible as it sounds
Some say She is Misery and Pain,
without knowable bound
Some say She is Night Eternal,
cold and chattering,
the Death of Life

Few mortals have spoke Her name,
and few gods dare to
For She is all they say
and then some

She whispers great horrors and torment
She can kill the Deathless,
should They kiss the blood from Her cheeks
She can bring pain no mortal can stand,
And She was always here,
and will be forever

It is folly to pray to Her
She’ll never answer,
she doesn’t care
Her was Here, first,
But She is no-One’s Mother
–Khaos just happened,
That’s what She does–
And though parts of Her have been revealed,
here and there,
She is truly incomprehensible
And Her mist will devour All,
in the End
———————

I might just need to have been in bed hours ago, but I had to jot this down. It took what little sense I have left to keep from slipping into prose or an essay, mid-stanza, and I’m still waffling over whether or not I should include it in Nocturnal Spirits. As best as i can tell right now, it’s not very good.

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.

So, am I crazy or is this one of those “cultural differences” between pagans and polytheists…?

So, I wrote up a referential questionnaire for pagans who make and/or wear bone jewellery. There are about 25 30 questions, and I’m expecting that most people who return it aren’t going to answer all of them, in fact, I indicate that volunteers can feel free to skip certain sections if one feels that lump of Q’s is not applicable to them. This is for reference, I only need relevant information.

In an effort to get more responses to improve my piece and maybe make it more-representative, I took my shout out to Reddit’s Pagan Subreddit (one of the largely tribly-wearing MRA/LOLbertarian-free zones). Most of the responses I got from Reddit for Nocturnal Spirits stuff has been positive, so this seemed like it was worth a shot, too. But then I sent the questionnaire to someone and got this response:

I don’t have time to write an entire thesis! Good luck, I think you’ll need it!

The questions are things like “Do you work with bones for spiritual reasons?” “Do you work with other dead animal matter (furs, skins, feathers, etc? Do you work with human bones?” “If you wear Dark / Witch Mori fashion (or similar aesthetic), are your clothes influenced by folklore and/or mythology? Are your outfits influenced by certain deities connected to woodlands?”

I thought that these questions were all pretty simple, and something that most could provide answers for in less than a week, and I’ve given people until the 20th to get back to me –and I even point out that if people need an extension, to let me know by the 19th. So what the fuck? What did this person think I was going to do or think I needed from them? These aren’t essay questions, at most, I can see a few questions getting one or two paragraphs from a handful of responders, but most questions might need, at most, a few sentences.

I’m guessing this person is just lazy and offered to participate without thinking that, you know, they’d actually have to participate. Or maybe that there wouldn’t be so many questions about spirituality –which I think would be quite easy to answer if someone is actually spiritual, and they’re being flip and insulting as a defense or something, cos I don’t find any of these questions at all unreasonable, especially as I’ve given everyone fifteen days (at this point) to fill out their responses.

ETA [2014-06-06]:
Three days. It took THREE days to get the first questionnaire back. No, the respondant didn’t answer all questions –I’m not expecting everyone to answer everything– but still. Three days. I think this proves that I’m not unreasonable than this kid just smokes crack or something.

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.

Last Minute Call for Submissions!

Hello!

I’m about to put the finishing touches on the first volume of my annual anthology, Nocturnal Spirits. I’d like to build up some of the poetry and prose pieces, so in addition to my own, it would be nice to see some pieces from others. I’ve already got permission from PSVL to featur eir “To Nyx” (and I’ll be sending e the form I’ve been collecting esigs on, before I go to bed –wrote a note on the back of my hand and everything), and I’ve got a lot of my own work (including stuff my long-time readers have never seen).

Pieces about or to deities would be wonderful, and if you have an essay you think would be great to include, I may also consider it.

If you can get me something by 30 June 2014, that would be ideal –I want this out by the first week of August, so I will only extend the deadline if you’ve already spoken with me.

I am looking for poetry, prose (re-written or new mythology), on or for the following deities, spirits, animals, etc… (but I may consider others, if I think your writing style compliments the anthology):

Nyx
Eros
Psykhe
Hedone
Hekate
Persephone
Hades
Thanatos
Selene
Asterea
Achelois
Phoebe
spider
scarab
crow
raven
vulture

Off the top of my head, I will accept essays on the following topics:
* Mediterranean / Near Eastern lunar gods (rather than goddesses –Tess Dawson, you there? 🙂
* the ankh in ancient and modern culture –Edward Butler has submitted a wonderful piece o the Eye of Horus, but I’m still hoping for an ankh piece for the first volume

Also, I’m going to ask a couple people I know about, but if you make or wear bone jewellery, ESPECIALLY if you’re also into “dark / witch mori” fashion, I’m writing a piece about pagan/folklore/fairytale/spiritual influences that I’ve noticed in said, but I’d love to improve the piece with some Q&A I can refer back to.

Illustrations and photos submitted will also be greatly appreciated.

As always, the Nocturnal Spirits email is: nocturnal.spirit@hotmail.co.uk

I know I haven’t been making regular calls for submissions, but I’ve been busy working on my own original pieces, and also playing with half a dozen cover concepts, but I keep coming back to my own Nyx painting, so fuck it, that’s the cover.

I’m also hoping to expand the Nocturnal Spirits concept into a regular column/feature BUT separate from Of Thespiae. I’ve already inquired at one community blog, but it’s been a few days and they haven’t gotten back to me, and even before the animosity built between Christine Hoff Kraemer and certain associates (plus myself), I probably would have had Patheos on the bottom of my list to shop it around to, anyway. What’s the news on this “Polytheist Square” (my own nickname, probably not the actual working title) community blog I heard some people talking about? Would it be worth asking at The Wild Hunt? (I know JP-W made me an offer after I made that Wild Fail post ages back, but I was too busy and unfocused to take him up on it, at the time; I hear Heather Greene is in charge, 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.

A Quick Page On Absinthe

This is one of the original pieces I’ve written for Nocturnal Spirits, but I thought I’d share it here, first, to give people a taste. If I’m lucky, one of my friends who draws will be able to crank out an illustration in short time.

green-fairy001 So, it’s like this, Anaïs….

Er…. Let me bring you, my gentle readers, up to speed: Anaïs is her name. The nymphe whose secrets are in the bottle; some call Her a fairy, or by other nicknames, but she’s Anaïs, to me.

First off, Anaïs, let’s disspell some of the most prevalent rumours for the good people.

Absinthe is not hallucinogenic.

I know, I know! You read in some book or other, gentle readers, and now you think it’s a low-level LSD or stevia or licorice-flavoured drinkable ‘shrooms. It’s not. No more so than any other spirit or liqueur, meaning it’s not. Like most other alcoholic beverages, including spirits and liqueurs, especially with a high proof, absinthe can be an entheogen if used in proper contexts, but that is not necessarily a hallucinogen. Hallucinogens induce visual or aural hallucinations, that is you see or hear things that have no discernable physical source apparent outside your own brain; entheogens are substances that invite spirits, deities, and other divine beings to impart their essence(s) within us –hallucinogens may be entheogenic, if used properly, but not all entheogens are hallucinogenic. Cannabis is an entheogen, and the only time the pot-heads I know say they’ve hallucinated on marihuana is when they knew it was (or believed it to be) laced with something else that was actually hallucinogenic. That said, the power of suggestion can be strong, and if you want to dismiss all of my research, including years of personal use, in favour of your own wacky-ass ideas that can only be traced back to the late 1960s, when the whole world was talking about hallucinogenic drugs, you might be able to convince yourself enough to feign a minor hallucination.

Entheogens are substances that, by literal definition, “generate the divine within” to give us messages, insights, and mysteries, or to simply do Their work through us (as per some stuff I’ve read, it seems drunkenness was part of Old Norse fertility rites? I’m not sure if I can trust that). “Ethanol” is a term that was coined in the 19th Century from the Hellenic “Aither”, “heavenly air” or “air of/from the gods”; we can re-sacrilise this etymology (make it sacred) and say that a component in ethanol that is either shared with what the Theoi breathe, or that opens up our minds to receive that purer “heavenly air”, that can make us more-able to receive Their wisdom than without.

This does not make for a hallucinogen. There is nothing about absinthe that is hallucinogenic.

But what about thujone? It’s related to THC!

No, it’s not. Thujone is actually a mild convulsant (“gives the shakes”), and really, if you really want to experience something akin to a grand mal, you’re better off giving yourself a head injury in hopes of getting that fun side-effect than you are drinking absinthe, as you’re more likely to die of alcohol poisoning before you get that much thujone in your system. Furthermore, there’s more thujone in sage oil than there is in absinthe –tonnes more– and other herbs that contain thujone include rosemary and mint. It’s a relatively common chemical compound in many herbs, and in small quantities it can be relatively safe to ingest.

But wormwood is still bad, right?

Yeah, in large enough quantities. Apparently, I was kind of wrong about this, too (it can happen). Sufficient quantities of wormwood can lead to renal failure, true, but the only cases where this has ever happened in the case of “absinthe” is when dumbshits decide to “make it at home” and use a wormwood essential oil in quantities to create a thujone volume of far more than the regulated 10miligrams per litre.

Also, apparently I can feel better about “never getting the hang of Czhech ritual”, as it’s ahistoric nonsense created for tourism. Live and learn, I guess….

But what about the Green fairy?

Anaïs is a stunning creature. She’s “femmedrogynous”, but most people seem ignorant of that tiny appendage under her skirt, and alcoholism-induced delirium tremens has led some to believe she has gynaecomastic breasts, but i know who She really is –or at least who She wants me to think She is. It’s true, She is green-skinned and green-haired, but Her eyes are amethysts flecked in gold and Her lips are like the shiny black of ravens, She has wings like a dragonfly’s with a glittering violent and green iridescence, and She smells of anise and fennel.

See, when Adonis lay with Apollon as a woman, there are, briefly, moments when the malakos one can become pregant through the golden-haired kouros. Anaïs was born later, in Hades kingdom, within a stone’s throw of Persephone’s throne, pulled right out from Adonis’ navel. Realising this would cause undue jealousy of Apollon, Adonis asked Hekate to take the child above, for the following four months, He belonged to Persephone, and though there are worse goddesses to annoy, He certainly did not need to take the risk.

Hekate took the child to Apollon, who was confused at Its appearance –too small to be a boy, but too big to be a girl, and not really both, as Kybele had once been, but he decided that the child looked enough like a girl, He disguised It and gave It to His sister, and It was named Anaïs and raised among the nymphai and fed wormwood, which in Greek is named for Artemis, though damned if i can tell why.

When Anaïs became old enough, She realised She wasn’t like the others in Artemis’ entourage, but rather than risk the punishments Artemis was known to give to males who dared enter Her spaces, or to females who crossed Her, Anaïs simply thanked Artemis for the time spent with Her, and left to wander among the herbs.

Hekate, later, recognised Anaïs and asked where the young… Spirit? had been; did Anaïs father do well in rearing? Was Anaïs aware of his.. her..? other father?

Anaïs braided fennel into Her hair, and told Hekate of Her life so far –of course She knew of both parents, and knew it was almost time for Adonis’ return to Her father’s arms, and how She was disguised as a nymphe because of Her ambiguity and simply left Artemis’ entourage when She realised it was not Her place in life.

“So what is your place?” The dark kore asked Anaïs.

“I was always happiest braiding fennel into my hair and chewing on anise and sitting amongst the wormwood, whispering secrets into the shrub’s inflorescence.”

And with Her magics, feared even by Zeus, Hekate kissed the especially effeminate youth raised as a nymphe, born of the bizarre state of Adonis. “And now, it will have your secrets, any secrets or tall tales you wish it to carry, for like your fathers, you are immortal, and by my will, you will give your divine secrets, wisdom, and even lies if you so choose, to your herbs.”

“But aren’t they also Dionysos’ plants?”

“The pomegranate is also sacred to Hera, and Persephone barely complains. All the Theoi share our things, whether we like it or not.”

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.

doot doot doot…

Got 400 fliers for Nocturnal Spirits printed up at Staples .. OK, I guess yesterday, now. Sending them in one of my Priority Flat Rate mailers with any applicable Etsy packages on Monday so that they arrive to Scarylady Sarah by the 19th for the Convergence XX goody bags.

It’s official: Taking submissions until June.

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.

[flapping hands and wild squees]

Eeee!!

I’m going to have the BEST Convergence XX fliers for Nocturnal Spirits!

I’m making a hidden HTML page that will contain a preview excerpt from my Andi Sexgang interview –and it will be viewable from a smartphone-scannable QR code on the flier! First half of the interview just came in, so I have only a few days to slap together a flier and print out 400 copies in time to Express mail it to Scarylady Sarah for the C20 goodybags!

PLEASE buy top-quality crap or donate NOW!! I mean, I’ll pay for this out of my own pocket, if I have to, but I’d kind of like to eat while I’m in Chicago….

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.

Well, it’s been about a week….

…and aside from the coupon code, only one person has donated toward the ring. I have less than $10 to put toward a $130 ring. Thanks.

That said, shortly after I posted about the ring, I was kind of bombarded by email notices about Convergence XX. For those of you unaware, Convergence is an annual, mobile festival/convention that originated as a gathering for regulars on the old alt.gothic newsgroup, back in 1995 when the Internet was little more than text-based Usenet groups and a few garish fansites for bands, films, and comics. My humanoid meat-based housemate was at the first one, and I was involved in a parallel “side fest”, nicknamed “Divergence”, that ran alongside Convergence 9, in Las Vegas, after my Spooky Magazine editor split from the C9 committee (that’s another story for another time). There is a reason I bring this up.

So, since that luna moth incident, I get strong vibes from Nyx. The reason the luna moth was such a catalyst for this is because that’s a pretty strong omen –luna moths are not your common grey moth, they’re among the physically largest moths, they lay few eggs when compared to smaller species and even other large species, and they have an adult-stage lifespan of only about ten days. There are very few people (who don’t go out and wait to take pictures, or study them, of course), who can say one of these night-souls got that close to their face by sheer chance. You’re more likely to see a Lunesta advert on the telly and sporadically hallucinate the animated moth reciting the Orphic Hymn to Nyx than have a luna moth sit on your shoulder for a few seconds.

After being suddenly bombarded with email notifications about Convergence XX, complete with a band line-up including some of my old-school faves from my “baby bat” days in the mid-1990s who cut his teeth on the mid-80s gothic rock sound (March Violets, Sunshine Blind, Pretentioys Moi?, and the new-band-with-old-sound, Peeling Grey, which boasts my friend Dave from Long Beach in the line-up), I laid down some cards, cos it’s really not something I should have gotten that much notification about in such a short time –maybe over a week, and maybe half the emails and social network invites, but not as much as I did in the first day after posting about that ring). I know from intuitions and minor dreams and sporadic short meditations, that Nyx wants me to reconnect with that “nocturnal culture” community. She wants the annual. And after a few rounds with the cards, and an unintended smoke scrying, I believe the ring (and also, hopefully, an intended devotional tattoo for Nyx, Eros, and the Moirai –something I’ve been planning for years but just can’t afford) will come after Convergence XX.

I believe the reasons for this are cos this will give a great opportunity to spread the word about the annual, and not to mention my badges and books.

I’m still taking donations via PayPal at oddmodout@hotmail.co.uk –to cover potential lodging fees, train fare, and admission, to print out fliers to promote the annual, to make sure that there is money for the ring after I return to Lansing, and so on. As always, if you’d rather, I have a growing number of badges with Hellenic, Hindu, pagan, and political themes (and many more with bands and musicians). If you want a simple divination with the Eros oracle cards, please donate a minimum of $5 and a note with the question you want asked.

In case you didn’t notice, by the way, the annual has its own page up on here, now, and so far it’s looking like it’ll be great. 🙂

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.