Olives of Asperity & A.N.
A.N: Apologies to all; this was intended to go up a few weeks back but I wasn’t attentive enough to the time differences between myself and the G&R website, so today you get a two-fer.
Pyres of Palmyra
Gather hence: tinder fashioned to hearken those ancestors of thine, a seed of some great longevity, the wings of a dragon’s miniscule kin, a raptor’s plume and deadened leaves posessing many teeth; offerings through which to curse whose substance will feed the pyre; libation most fitting, two tokens for two tasks and a great storm’s waters.
Set as the heart, the seed long living embraced by all the fanged leaves. Raise above the tinder well, to allow its long drawing breath. Set within those ruddy bones ev’ry flame amidst the flesh. Feed the growing offspring of yours a raptors plume for its surest hunting sight and dragons wings for all great raging flight. Feed it further cursed offerings at all proper pause whilst intoning thusly:
“To know your heart will not be done, all Time shall not permit,
To know your creed there is a Name, thought it’s tasting is most foul,
A Name too dark and baned, a-swell with ev’ry tainted weight,
Direly incandescent, doth shine thy every blighted monument.
Nine Moons convoked to wane your deeds and lo,
upon the flesh of Nine, well the flames shall feed;
A name a moon a moon a rune,
Nine curses to make thee cease:
Wretches have no joy to hold; thine Wunjo mold as rotted meat.
Trespassers fear the glinting blade; thine Tiwaz dull to deadened blunting.
Marauders take to show their strength; thine Mannaz run to fat.
Scourges herald all malevolent purging ; thine Sowilo blaze your eyes to burning
Betrayers smile with full toxined heart; thine Berkano be all emptied shell.
Kanves carry truest all dishonest face; thine Kenaz twist ‘gainst all bearing.
Perfiders warp all to suit their need; thine Perthro give all pox and bile.
Descrators enervate with boundless totality; thine Dagaz fall drowned midst the sea.
Apostates reject till all unto oblivion succumbs; thine Ansuz also be so nulled.”
With the flames of the final offering fading into embers, further feed the flames and rouse at once all Ancestors of thine. Offer unto them libation worth of giving to the gods then two tokens for their next two tasks:
“Ancestors of mine; waken to this growing flame and dance along its wooded bones. Carry far and farther still one spark a-tip each finger. Take these fledging hearts with all due care to old-temple all a yonder, place hand upon that desert land and whisper: ‘Djinn of Old, abide no longer amidst great, deep slumber. Rally fast and stand, as your Palmyra demands.’
Linger yet a while, with half still to plant, nary permit even one Transgressor spilled drop of blood go bare. Once more place they hand upon the stain and entice: ‘Ifreet of Old, be patient no more, let loose thy raging roar. Reach forth and stand, as their forced blood demands’.
Only whence all Djinn rise to halt the violate advance; only when all Ifreet rise to stay the tide; only when eld spirits stand in Palmyra’s last defence; when all old sanctum’s board lit, by flaming guards are done; when only pyres to mark the line are set. Only then have rest, return to sleep and know thy task be done.”
Douse the flames with waters of a great storm and permit what remains to smoulder.
I am a teacher, at a high school ordinary as any other, and one of the irrefutable realities of being a teacher is that every single moment that you are in that role is one in which you are constantly being watched; not watched, per se so much as observed. Every moment you stand in front of students is a moment in which you are Teacher, is a moment in which they are looking at you and watching how you are within the world. You and I both know that the standard high school environment is rather artifical and that ones job does not necessarily define who you are nor your actions; school children do not know that however. They see how I behave as their teacher and they internalise that and whether I want them to or not, whether I think its a good idea or not, they use that as a template for how they should be.
Often times this means that there are things I tolerate because, in all honesty, I have no choice – whether it is something petty like disagreeing that the clothes teachers are required to wear are appropriate, sometimes it is something important such as wanting to teach classes differently because the current approach is detrimental and hating that I have to suppress the urge to just teach differently regardless. Honestly, you do get used to the reality that your actions are constantly being studied, learned and then displayed back to you. It isn’t always good, but there is no real choice in the matter because you are setting an example whether you want to or not.
The last week or so has been interesting for me, keeping abreast of things here at Gods & Radicals, reading what folks have to say elsewhere, following the news. Doing so all the while trying to find just the right way to do what I said I would do has proven to be very intriguing, not in the least because there have been times when I have had to try very hard to not let those events affect me. Gargarean suggested that I should talk to Galina about her intended use for the design he created; I chose not to do so before now partly because she has been on holiday and partly because if it does turn out that Galina herself intends to curse (Gargarean himself said that he made the design with the intention of a curse) then I am more than capable of admitting that I was, at least partly, wrong. Its something I do all the time; being mistaken is part of how we learn so I feel no shame in it. An article I read lamented the lack of philosophising within the greater Pagan, Heathen and Polytheist community; I worked hard not to abandon my idea for one that seemed better. A good friend was quite emphatic that they thought (specifically) me cursing anyone or thing was a bad idea; unwise though it may be I have chosen to ignore them. I even wondered if there was anything remotely connected to the core idea of Gods&Radicals in what I had written then and now; I ignored myself.
Much like being a teacher, anyone who writes here is being studied. People are looking at what we do to know what is and isn’t ‘okay’ to do – we don’t have a choice in the matter anymore because we made that choice when we said “I want to do this”. I wont soften the fact that its a sometimes bleak position, I certainly won’t apologise for my admittedly hardline way of expressing it because we all decided for ourselves that a line needed to be drawn and that it would be where we stand and say “No; no more”.
So wise or unwise here we all are, our fingers in the sand.
Images are of actor Helen Mirren as Prospero in The Tempest, directed by Julie Taymor adapted from The Tempest by William Shakespeare.
A silver tongued seductee of language, consumately un-settled and mortally afflicted with fernweh, Alan Evans learns for the sake of learning and the strangers-become-companions met along the way. He pines for the gods, teaches English, learns languages, plays drums, understands people, makes love in four languages, writes and fights like only Australian grandson of an Irishwoman can and will salaciously flirt to death any ‘Wizard of Oz’ quips. Main site: Trees in the Train Station. Also contributes to The Elemental Witch.