At the head of the year, I begin my prayer with Janus, Gatekeeper of Olympos and all the temples of the Gods — as You open the New Year, may You open the path to all things joyous, jubilant, and jovial in our lives.
(Also, yes, I’m back after a year of hibernation.)
Monotheism: “It is done. All paganism and devilish heathenry have been eradicated from God’s green earth.”
For the love that lights up the soul, I thank you.
For the liberation that love inspires, I thank you.
For the laughter that gives life to each moment, I thank you.
I thank the Three who are generous beyond count in all these things and more. Hail, hail and hail again!
They cut down our sacred trees.
Defiled our holy wells.
Tore down the houses we built for our beloved gods.
Banned the very mention of their names.
Raped our women, broke our men, and defamed our priestesses.
But hey, let’s focus on the bright side—at least, we’re the only Christian nation in Asia.
‘The first baptism in the Philippines’ by Fernando Amorsolo
It is heartbreaking that so many Filipinos still parrot the centuries-old colonial propaganda that we were somehow “civilised” by European colonisation and that Christianity was its most precious gift. Neither the Cross nor western clothes made us better.
She would definitely disagree.
A painting by Botong Francisco of a babaylan or priestess
Religion is only a sensitive topic if you see religion as inviolable. It’s always a fun (and fulfilling topic) to talk about, if you ask me. Polytheists do it all the time!
“Gurl, your Athena statue needs a new peplos. That one looks so 2016.”
“Dude, Ogun seems to like rhum. I wonder if Hephaistos would, too.”
“This year’s Durga Maa murti is rocking that crimson saree, YAAAS!”
When two polytheistic cultures meet, they compare (and often also share) their gods and traditions. It’s more about commerce than it is about competition—inclusion, not exclusion. That all religions are at each other’s throats cannot be farther from the truth in polytheism. There’s never an argument about whose god is true or false because they’re all true. Obviously. Plurality and multiplicity echo throughout the cosmos and this is evident in polytheist thought.
“Y’all should worship the One True Thor—YOUR ZEUS IS FALSE!” … said no polytheist ever. “There is no jealousy in the divine chorus”, as Plato put it.
Krishna worships Shiva with no issues. Olympians pray to other Olympians. It’s called polytheism.
Now, it doesn’t take a genius to know which religions have been the exact opposite of everything above. But that’s not for here.
People ask me where the Gods have gone, thinking perhaps that the ancients saw Zeus as just a man in the sky, and because we see no sky-man there now (or ever), that Zeus is “gone”.
But He is always there, and has always been: in the fertile rain, in the mighty sound of thunder, in the very order that holds the sky aloft the wet earth.
Ὦ Ζεῦ, πάτερ Ζεῦ, σὸν μὲν οὐρανοῦ κράτος, σὺ δ᾿ ἔργ᾿ ἐπ᾿ ἀνθρώπων ὁρᾷς, λεωργὰ καὶ θεμιστά, σοὶ δὲ θηρίων, ὕβρις τε καὶ δίκη μέλει.
Hail Father Sky, Founder of justice in heaven and all beneath it!
O King in the highest heavens enthroned in glory
O Father of all, praise and thanks to You and Your mighty name.
Aba Amang Langit, Tagapagtaguyod ng katarungan mula langit hanggang kailaliman!
O Hari ng kaitaas-taasang naluluklok sa kaluwalhatian
Ama ng sansinukuban, papurihan Ka at pasalamatan at ang Iyong magiting na pangalan.