Surprise

Monotheism: “It is done. All paganism and devilish heathenry have been eradicated from God’s green earth.”

Polytheism:

surprise bitch

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The Gift of the Cross?

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.

FI-Spanish-Colonization

‘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.

Women-in-the-Precolonial-Philippines

A painting by Botong Francisco of a babaylan or priestess

Polytheism Is A Party Where Everyone Is Invited

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.

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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.

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Where Is Zeus?

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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.

Hymn to Hermes

I cannot love this enough. O Son of Maia, our Guide and Companion in life and in death, hail and hail again!

amor et mortem

“Hymn to Hermes”

(c) A. Applegate 2017

We give greetings to Hermes,

Clever Son of Zeus and Maia,

Wanderer of all the worlds

God of great cunning

Who, on His very first day of drawing breath,

Proved Himself a maker of music and mischief,

Strummer of the lyre,

Thief of the cattle of Apollon

The One Who achieves fame amongst the Gods by His deeds

The Prowler by night Who lurks in the street before the gates.

We hail holy Hermes

Who wards all wayfarers

Whether travelers for pleasure or commercial pursuits,

or those seized by thanatos

Who wend their way into dark caverns to be seated as guests

in Hades’ great, gilded halls

We hail Hermes Psychopompos,

His most sacred charge

Serve as our unerring Guide, our Companion, O Khthonios,

May Your lamps reveal the Mysteries

Glory gleaned in gloomy depths

To those ready to receive the Light of…

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Hail Traveller & Teacher

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Hail Hermes, full of joy!
Thou, son of Zeus and Maia!
Gracious art thou amongst the blessed Gods
and blessed are those who gain thine friendship.

Watchful Hermes, father of Pan, guide us,
travellers and luck-workers,
now and ever after.

Hail Athena, full of splendour!
Thou, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus!
Brightest do thine eyes shine, Glaukopis,
as do the minds of those who hold thee high.

Exalted Athena, who sprang full-formed
from the head of Zeus,
lead us, ardent pupils of life,
now and ever after.

Hail you, mighty children of Zeus,
fair speech and fair wit we bespeak of you
now and for ever more!