Random Commentary on Karma

d38b81601d51fa1a4be98e95f4c577a7

 

I wrote a little bit about karma here. I touched on it briefly while attempting to communicate what I believe, based on the given research I had studied and continue to study, about the 3fold law. I have not backtracked from my commentary on the 3fold law in any way. However, karma is a different thing altogether, and here you will read that I have had to amend some things.

Late last year I began to study karma as it pertained to various sects of Buddhism and Sanatana Dharma (what many Westerners erroneously refer to as Hinduism). The sources are located at the end of this article, but I started with “The Vedic Origins of Karma” by H. W. Tull. Afterwards anything on Vedic Hinduism and from thence Buddhism drew my attention. What I came to realize (and am continuing to do so) is that there is an attempt at taking a borrowed word from a different religious mindframe and plug it into the English vernacular so it can be a justified term to skeptics. “Oh but karma is scientific and real: it just means action.” I’m guilty of this mistake.

Karma is moral causation. The actions and intents of those activities are at a precise level of propriety that dictates not only do our deeds affect others (which I still cling to: see the link above for the part on the “ripple effect”), but suddenly there is a morality clause. If I go out of my way to give some money to a homeless man, then that principled behavior ricochets good unto me, either in this life or the one to come. It is not enough to be kind, but the kindness itself has divine currency stamped onto it to ensure my virtuous account has positive transactions. Looking back over my life and examining it more thoroughly, however, here is my current thesis:

It’s bullshit. 

I don’t believe in karmic cycles because, honestly, the philosophy (in whatever school of thought) deals with the consequences of one’s actions which are rooted in both intent and behavior. But is it that simple? Does good make good and bad make bad? What if a person who has good intentions sets out to do a good deed, but it’s met with disastrous results? Or a person who has bad intentions and sets out to commit a societal wrong yet due to variables becomes successful in their venture at the expense of another? In my opinion, the underlying variables which are responsible for defining just what karma does and how it works cause the entire notion to be moot.

I know many folks who have attempted to redefine the word “karma” and make it part of Newton’s Third Law which is always summed up simply as:

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

I have a brain injury but I’m ready to give myself another one when righteousness – not ethics – is trying to infiltrate science. That’s the same kind of nonsensical trappings which the Religious Right are attempting – and rather successfully in some parts of the States I might add – to subvert science curriculums by having intelligent design added. It’s rubbish.

Karma has little to do with questions of right and wrong and causality in the human experience, and it certainly has no equivalency to Newton’s Third Law. The mechanics of pushing a chair won’t determine you will become rewarded with winning the lottery. My coined phrase of “slingshot morality” is a form of narcissism in which our egocentrism demands to be given attention by the cosmos. In a universe where billions of planets and stars are being extinguished every hour (some perhaps with life on them) it makes no sense in the grand scheme of things. Barring factors which may influence our full capacity to execute behavior and personal ethical comprehension such as culture, mental illness, etc., the one fact remains that we are truly indeed responsible for ourselves. But we must keep in mind that bad things do happen to good people and vice versa.

The link above directs you to an article where I have used the imagery of a pond with ripples in an attempt to communicate the poetic essence of the number 3 in the 3fold law. If you have not yet done so, I encourage you to look back on that post first before continuing so you have a better grasp of where I am going.

Or just keep reading. That’s fine too.

The ripples magnify, but they also thin as they spread out further away from the source. So while my behaviors may have a more immediate impact on those close to me, it will begin having a negligible effect beyond my immediate circle. Which makes sense.

And then there are the unfortunate times when our personal choices are taken away from us: H.H. Holmes made decisions for dozens of women who wanted nothing better than to improve their lives. (Yes I am using serial killers and will be using third world countries as example:  let’s keep it real). Those women did not deserve their suffering. Neither did the victims of John Wayne Gacy, Ed Gein, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Hitler or Stalin. Rwandan women and children hacked alive have nothing to do with karma or the moral and ethical necessity of bringing their killers to justice. And no one deserves to lose their pensions or jobs because of corpotate greed at the top.

The natural world and karma are antithetical. It is not the karma of the deer to be kind to the wolf so that it can be spared. A wolf is a wolf and they make no apologies for their behavior. Our own actions are better predicated on the fact that we are evolved social primates with a larger stake within our smaller communities. It’s natural human behavior, and we should start calling it what it is, rather than falsely extrapolating a word to become a synonym in our vernacular and lose the attachments which originally and continue to define this word in a specific context for millions of people. This as opposed to some invisible thread that ties our decisions to have a cup of coffee on the morning after having a raunchy Dionysian orgy with a sex worker and worried that this will impact whether we get a Bentley or not. (And, for the record, that sounds like a good morning). Quantum interconnectedness is one thing (wyrd, ananke, etc), but moral absolutism in there is not gospel.

Supporters of karmic doctrine attempt to say that we have past lives that affect us, or that we all have lessons to learn. Really? Because I have enough problems in this life to concern myself about. The past is the past. It’s gone. Attempting to find the source for my love of chocolate from 5 lives ago as a Spanish monarch is ludicrous. Why can’t I just love chocolate? Why can’t I just have problems and learn to deal with them? That’s taking responsibility for my behavior through and through. For example, what lessons did Nepal and the people who live there need to learn? What past life sins did they commit? Has not that area and the people suffered enough under totalitarian regimes, poverty, famine, disease, war, and human trafficking.

I often wonder if karma – as defined by New Agers and other Westerners – is still a remnant of Christian ideology for a reward system based on behavior, like we desperately need for people to see us and pat our head to reassure us. Oy.

Eirene kai Hugieia!

(Peace and Health!)

~Oracle~

 

Sources:

Tull, H.W. (1989). The Vedic Origins of Karma: Cosmos as Man in Ancient Indian Myth and Ritual.

Egge, J. (2013). Religious Giving and the Invention of Karma in Theravada Buddhism. 

Richman, P.H. (2010). Karma and the Rise of Buddhism in the West. 

Doniger, W. (1980). Karma and Rebirth in Classical Indian Traditions. 

Ophic Strix Creation Mythos: Nyx

"Woman Between the Stars" by Corila Chirila

“Woman Between the Stars” by Corila Chirila

She awoke, alone and unsure, in the vast void which cloaked Hir flesh. The Night Mother yawned within the gaping void and began singing a mournful song of loneliness and abandonment. And it is why to this day the people feel pain when in the dark and alone within.

She traveled until at last She could no further and came to the very edge of the Cosmos. Watching the mirror of pristine wonder, She suddenly saw Hirself in all of Her glory! Straightaway She was taken with craving and began to masturbate in pleasure at the fullness of what She was seeing. This was the First Gnosis and First Desire. At the burst of Hir orgasm emerged the billions of stars and rocks which swirled about the body of the Mother. Hir momentary brush with Death (the First Death) in orgasm gave birth to Eros and Thanatos: the sacred twins of the First Mother, the genesis of linked souls: male, female and neither.

At once the potential of life had burst forth from joy and pleasure, sex unhinged. And it is why to this day the people experience transcendent ecstasy when reaching orgasm: the twins meet again. In lust She craved to know Hirself once more, and immediately metamorphosed and surrendered Hir nature to the impulses of yearning love. It is why to this day when people feel the stirrings of painful love and longing, often their nature is surrendered to obtain that which they desperately desire.

Thus the suns, gravity, light, speed, sounds, music, sacred harmony and planets with life were made. Life forms evolved; the dance of Eros and Thanatos for survival within the peoples brought joy, suffering, hope, healing and pain. Grief, anger, and other spirits were made.

All this is so the Great Night Mother would know Hirself. She desires nothing more. And when that time comes for our own world when She is satisfied, She will retake the body of the Earth Mother and all Her siblings, and they will return to the bosom of Nyx, where all souls become part of a Greater Cycle still to come, and the threads of Ananke never tear us apart.

Eirene kai Hugieia!

(Peace and Health!)

~Oracle~

A Poem For Nyx

Nyx by Destiny Alford on Prezi

Nyx by Destiny Alford on Prezi

 

“In the shadowed den I wandered,
searching, seeking, ever I pondered.
Her beauty veiled in Starry Night,
Hallowed Shadows dance in the Light.
Bounteous Mother, Ebony Queen,
Flowing with Grace, Thy face Unseen.
Honorable Nyx, from Thy Throne Above,
Dost Thou lavish Wisdom, Faith and Love.
From the World Below, Fire gives birth,
Virtue flows, healing the earth.”

-First written by me 03 February 2011

Eirene Kai Hugieia!
(Peace and Health!)
~Oracle~

Oracle of Nyx

The Star Goddess

The Star Goddess

In Darkness is where Wisdom and Knowledge can be found. In the things we choose to ignore and not give any attention to – those are the very things that we should face and find the answers we always search for. We cannot runaway from the inevitable. Hekate teaches us to face the Dark and, not to confront it, but to embrace it. To unite and become integrated with our shadows, our fears, and ourselves.

In ancient times, Nyx was not only the personification of Night. She has a wealth of importance in the Witchcraft Traditions that are influenced by the Samothrakian and Orphic Mysteries. She is the First Mother, the Hermaphroditic Demiurge that masturbates to bring about the origins of the macrocosm. She is also the First Oracle, pronouncing Her utterances from Her Cave that exists at the very edge of the Kosmos. She is heavily linked to Underworld Deities such as Hekate and Persephone. But what does this mean?  It means She is there to teach us to dance to the rhythms of the universe as it whirls, that She is there to teach us that things in the background are ever-present. We transcend from Hekate teaching us to embrace the Darkness, to Nyx teaching us to live without fear and understand that the Darkness itself is Divine. Every part of us is Divine, and everything that we face, no matter how difficult and fearful, is something we must endure. Here is the pronouncement of the Nyx Oracle:
“I am the First Mother, the Dreamer whose Dreams weave the fabric of the Kosmos.
Raise your eyes and look into the Stars; My Body, My Being, is always Watching.
Out of Love I bore you, and out of Love I watch and embrace all that you are.
Raise your eyes and look into the Stars; I embrace you, hold you, always Watching.
I hold all things in Harmony, for Themis is my Daughter.
Raise your eyes and look into the Stars; they are my Light reflecting back to you.
In the Darkness Hope shines, patiently, from life unto life.
Raise your eyes and look into the Stars; Harmony and Balance burn and decay – to which shall you hold onto?
I am the Constant Void, the Eternal Dance, the Whirling Mother.
I am the Night that Breathes, and you, My Children, are My faces that shine from My dreams.”
Eirene kai Hugieia!
(Peace and Health!)
~Oracle~

What is the Ophic Strix Tradition?

Temple of Hekate Ritual

Temple of Hekate Ritual

People have often wondered what exactly my temple teaches. Our temple, the Temple of Hekate: Ordo Sacra Strix (Sacred Order of the Owl), is the only existing temple thus far of the Ophic Strix Tradition. In Traditional Initiatory Wicca, the word “Tradition” when pertaining to a specific lineage or group, is only used if that branch survives at least 3 generations. For example, if High Priestess Willowroot founds a coven and it is called “Coven of the Sacred Flame,” and her coven begins to combine aspects of Celtic Reconstructionism with their mother Tradition of Gardnerian Witchcraft, then this is something new. From there, if a daughter coven hives off, and then another hives off from theirs, it can be said by those members that “Coven of the Sacred Flame” is a candidate for a new lineage or even Tradition in its own right. The oral customs and values passed on have a different meaning than the core of Gardnerian Witchcraft. This doesn’t make it greater or worse, it simply is. That is how Traditions work: they evolve and aren’t stiff and stagnant, contrary to popular belief. A NeoWiccan group composed of Intrapersonal Students who weave together a coherent system that works and branches 3 more covens successfully can also use the word “Tradition” in this way.

Our temple uses the term in a slightly different way, since we have only one existing sanctuary. I will add that our temple is not in any way affiliated with Traditional Wicca or Hellenismos. We are an independent entity in our own right. Our students have studied Greek lore and history in-depth, along with Hellenic Reconstructionism. We have also researched the various Mystery Traditions and oracular practices of the ancient Hellenes: Pythagorean, Apollonian, Dionysian, Orphic, Eleusinian, Samothrakian, the neckromanteions, Delphic Oracle, etc. Included in our explorations are ancient Greek folklore, folk magic, goetia, sibyls, ancestral veneration, healers, philosopher prophets, Thessalian strixoi, and the powerful female figures of Myth. But, our emphasis lies not in Classical Athens but in the customs and observances of Southern Italy, Sicily, the Near East and Anatolia (modern day Turkey). While academic in nature, much of our praxis is a careful harmonious dance between these and our own personal experiences. We carefully record and converse on these as a group to discuss whether these encounters are relevant or not (as classical Occultists once taught: approach it like science). By doing so, we have successfully arrived at a pragmatic spiritual juncture where we honor our flesh and spirit ancestors, and we tap into an Occult current known as the Ogdoadic Tradition. The Ogdoadic Tradition is the other half of the Western Mysteries, with roots in the Mediterranean, the Near East, Arabic mysticism, the Italian Renaissance, and from thence to Greece as well as north to England via Spain. The rituals and stories reflect these influences. Our temple found this a perfect complementary fit for the folkish magical practices (thaumaturgy), the lore of the Evil Eye (Gk. “Kako Mati”) and bewitchment (Gk. “Vaskania”).

We are a living Tradition, a child of the Ogdoadic and Hellenic occult currents. We adhere to the philosophies of the pre-Socratics, along with the Underworld, Dionysian and Orphic Mysteries. We practice ancestral veneration and nekromancy traced from the Nekromanteion in Baia, Italy. We dance beneath the full moon pasted in white with our tribal symbols, calling inward the frenzied possessions of Dionysus and the various spirits conjured. We keep the Greater and Minor Festivals to pray, give honor, and worship our Gods and spirits, who keep our system alive. We participate in the 3 Hearth Feasts of the Deipnon, Noumenia and Agathos Daimon. We are the children of Hekate, the cattle of the Raving One, and the progeny of our temple’s pantheon of Gods and spirits. Spirit alliances and contracts are seriously taken, as are initiations. Our ways are both written and oral, and we have an extensive Mythos that pertains to us and us alone.

Thusly in our own right we are a Tradition. Nyx is the Mother of All, the androgyne Star Goddess. Her firstborn are the sacred twins of Eros and Thanatos, Desire and Death. They were born in sexual embrace, becoming the First Order of the Cosmos, which is the very flesh of Nyx. Evolution is the great love story of Nyx as She attempts to reach Attainment within Hirself by continuously evolving, changing, bringing chaos and order within Hirself. We exist, and one day we will collectively return to the flesh of Nyx, our atoms and dispersed, our energies taking root elsewhere. Our hope lies in the life we fully live here and now. We are the people of the Serpent and the Owl. We are Strixoi, and we praise the Gods!

Eirene kai Hugieia!
(Peace and Health!)
~Oracle~

Relaunch

Meme courtesy of Kelly Bender

Meme courtesy of Kelly Bender

I hate being on a hiatus, especially due to unpredictable circumstances such as my health. Since my last post nearly 7 months ago, I have battled my way through increased seizures, anxiety, depression, and bipolar mood swings. Thanks to new medications, however, at the very least I am able to sleep somewhat and have some kind of routine. I have Asperger’s, the behavioral characteristics being exacerbated by the brain injury. Over the past several months so much has occurred that I might as well inform you of what and how.

I began a fundraiser so I could collect my necessary medical records and send them to my lawyers for my disability case. My disability case was on February 5th, 1 day after my birthday. Nearly every medical record was in but I started seeing a psychiatrist beginning on December 31st, 2014. My lawyers needed those records and anything up-to-date. They asked me if I was ever Baker Acted and I replied no (although I came very close a couple of times). The reason I wasn’t was due to my partners being scared that such a drastic action would have made things worse on me: due to my injury and mood I would have become more combative, and perhaps they would restrain me, and then it might lead to increased anxiety and fright: the stress of it leading to a seizure. A vicious cycle to be sure. No one is positive on how the inpatient care works, so they thought better cautious than sorry for me. After the hearing case, my lawyer informed me it would go 50/50: my youth was a critical factor for denial. In spite of my disabilities, I could possibly be denied because I am young. What the fuck? But okay.

Months past, and I wanted to get better. I was happy. I was looking forward to positive results, because how could they deny me? The records and my recorded speech were enough I thought. Looking at my evaluations from just after my car accident in August 2012 until the present, my results would surely demonstrate how, after 2 1/2 years my mental and emotional conditions had not drastically improved, even with medications. My seizures still had increased and I began to be prescribed psych medications for bipolar mood swings. And then in late March I received the results: I was denied. I was denied for the dumbest reasons.

1. If I could be around 5 people, I can be in a quiet environment and work. Problem? I can invite people to my house (which I said), which means I control my environment and how many I can tolerate. 5 is the most, and no more than 8, for ritual. After ritual is over and everyone is chatting I usually sit alone with my phone to concentrate because it can be overwhelming. My partners entertain everyone. I have even stepped back from leading rituals, allowing my temple to take over and be empowered. They are doing me proud as I prepare to follow another path.

2. I can do a quiet job like a parking attendant. Oh sure, especially because I can’t medically and legally drive due to new seizure medications and vertigo.

3. I am on medication, which means I am improving. Because, you, know, everyone on medication means they’re functional and normal.

4. My partner who has been with me for 16 years was given a questionnaire on what he saw and how much I had changed. The result? The judge dismissed his testimony because, well, he had no medical experience and he was being biased. What a fuckwit.

5. Finally, my age. Although people above the age of 50 years old with the same disabilities would be awarded, my youth means I have time to get a job.

Sigh. Seriously? So this is what I have been dealing with. Now it’s time for the appeal process to begin. And now that you know what has been going on with me mundanely, I’ll shortly inform you of the spiritual side.

Eirene kai Hugieia!
(Peace and Health!)
~Oracle~

Facts Are Stubborn Things

Hekate Triformis

Hekate Triformis

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
-John Adams, 1770

President John Adams was correct: facts are stubborn things. Of course his quote is extracted from the speech that he gave while defending the British soldiers that shot people during what Americans now tout as the “Boston Massacre.” But let’s leave that bit of American History for another forum, shall we? What concerns me here is the legitimacy of what President Adams spoke, and how this statement continues to be true even today. One of the arenas I frequently encounter this issue of facts vs. wishes is on many NeoPagan and Witchcraft forums. Whether it is the origins of Traditional Wicca (another blog post) or the someone’s “grandmother” stories about being trained in Irish Witchcraft called Witta, many times I find that people eschew critical thinking skills in favor of some fantastical idea about their romantic notion of Witchcraft. Why lack of critical thinking skills seems to be rampant in the modern Pagan Community is beyond my thinking, because these same people by and large will turn around and attack Christians and Political Conservatives for being “sheeple.” They’ll accuse them of following pastors and evangelists blindly. They’ll howl and rave about how the “Christians stole our holidays” and other such nonsense. In short, they’ll point a finger at everybody, but forget that while they are doing that three fingers are pointing back at them. Nowhere is this hypocritical cognitive dissonance and lack of respect about their faith more evident than when it comes to the nature of the Gods and Goddesses of our ancestors.

Robert Graves
In 1948, a former Oxford English and Literature professor by the name of Robert von Ranke Graves published The White Goddess (formerly titled The Roebuck in the Thicket). The third son of Irish poet and Gaelic scholar Alfred Perceval Graves, Robert had quite an upbringing in a scholastic-oriented family. An educated man, Graves also had quite the passion for poetry and story-telling, as exemplified in his books such as I, Claudius, King Jesus, and The Penny Fiddle: Poems for Children to name a few among the dozens of works and collaborations in his name. Graves’ works on Mythology were also essential in the revival of modern Wicca and Paganism, laying the groundwork for much of the schema many groups today still have. One of the best known works, of course, is The White Goddess. Perhaps no other poetic interpretation of Myth has had such a substantial impact on modern Wiccan and Pagan thealogy as this one. While writing some works on Greek Myth, Graves was instantly seized with inspiration and worship of what he called his Muse. Professor Hazel Hunley from the University of Omaha in her studies of Graves writes:

Ironically, Graves’ research as a novelist led him to his poetic truth and the White Goddess or Mother-Muse…On retracing the journey of Jason and Argonauts, he noted that Goddess worship was prevalent throughout the ancient Mediterranean world in many cults. The Goddess was already familiar, at least, intellectually to Graves, the classical scholar, from the Homeric epics, Sir James Frazer’s The Golden Bough, Apuleius’ The Golden Ass, and the anthropological findings of Jane Harrison and J.J. Bachofen.

Professor Hunley continues that while charting Jason’s journey, Graves had a sudden epiphany to read the Welsh tale of The Battle of the Trees. This epiphany is what fueled his comparative Mythos studies, finding a bizarre underlying unity evident only to him between Insular Celtic and Greek Myths. This quite unorthodox pairing was explained by Graves as him simply paying homage as a true poet to his Muse Goddess, whom he believed in objectively. As a poet, Graves felt he was qualified to recount the connections since the poet was the receiver of the Mysteries. No matter where he looked, Graves inevitably wrote feverishly that, buried within the Myths he studied and wrote, lay the matriarchal White Goddess to whom a passionate love affair should be kindled by Her devoted poets: seers of Her choosing. This is important to take into account, that while Graves was indeed a scholar in his own right, he was also at heart a poet who took lavish license with his writings. They were never meant to be taken scholastically.

The Modern Triple Goddess
One of the most iconic forms that Graves gave to the modern world was the revivification of the Triple Goddess caricature. In his works, Graves outlines the Triple Goddess forms as:

Mother/Bride/Layer-out
Maiden/Nymph/Hag
Maiden/Mother/Crone

Graves’ poetic correspondences to the Triple Goddess include “the birth, life, death and resurrection of the God of thee Waxing Year; the central chapters concern the God’s losing battle with the God of the Waning Year for love of the capricious and all-powerful Threefold Goddess, their mother, bride and layer-out.” He continues:

As Goddess of the Underworld she was concerned with Birth, Procreation and Death.  As Goddess of the Earth she was concerned with the three season of Spring, Summer and Winter: she animated trees and plants and ruled all living creatures.  As Goddess of the Sky she was the Moon, in her three phases of New Moon, Full Moon, and Waning Moon. […] As the New Moon or Spring she was a girl; as the Full Moon or Summer she was woman; as the Old Moon or Winter she was hag.

This Mythos, or poetic interpretation rather of Mythos, can be found readily in any book you pick up on these days. His schema of the Sacrificed King devoted to the beloved Triple Goddess of Maiden/Mother/Crone is found in many of his works including King Jesus. Graves cites sources for evidence of the Triple Goddess in antiquity, but unfortunately his citations and subsequent interpretations are two very different things. This is something that many today do not take into account.

The Parcae

The Parcae

The Ancient Triple Goddess
I wrote in another blog post that among Indo-Europeans, “3” was a sacred number. In many Indo-European cultures such as India, Greece, Rome, the Arabian Middle East and Ireland, the motif of Triple Gods and Goddesses can readily be found. For example, we have the Goddess Brighid who is the Triple Goddess of the Smiths, the Bards and the Healers. Greece had the Three Sons of Kronos, the Three Consorts of Poseidon, the Three-Headed Kerberos, and the Three Muses. More examples can be given but I think you get the idea. The presence of the number 3 in the various Mythologies of our ancestors is very prevalent. But the evidence for the Triple Goddess does not automatically mean that the theme of the Maiden/Mother/Crone (from here on shortened to MMC) is applicable. A famous modern example that is given for the MMC in ancient times is that of the Three Fates: Klotho, Lakhesis, amd Atropos. While not specifically named as MMC, respectively, nonetheless some descriptions are pulled to assert that the Three Fates embody an ancient concept of the MMC. It is believed that because Klotho rules over birth, Lakhesis over life, and Atropos over death, that these are a perfect embodiment of the MMC caricature. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. The ancient world was much more complex than we care to admit, and it is perhaps our Linnaeun efforts at over-analyzing and attempting to neatly create a Holy Trinity of Pagandom that perhaps is the reason for the modern Pagan Community’s stubbornness. In essence, I guess we also want a very neat “Father/Son/Holy Spirit” equivalent.

The Three Fates, or Moirae, weren’t always three in number. We have to keep into account that there was never such a thing as a pan-Hellenic Mythos. Ever. Mythologies differed from cultus to cultus and region to region. This may be a shock to many who have studied Classical Greek and Latin literature, for example. But, bear in mind there existed other Hellenic regions besides Athens. Pausanias, for example, states that at Delphi only Two Moirae existed, which was odd to him since he knew that elsewhere the Fates could be counted as Three:

In the temple has been built an altar of Poseidon, because Poseidon too possessed in part the most ancient oracle. There are also images of two Fates; but in place of the third Fate there stand by their side Zeus, Guide of Fate, and Apollo, Guide of Fate. (Pausanias, Descriptions of Greece, Book XIV, circa 2nd century CE).

Ovid wrote that, rather than the Moirae (Parcae in Latin) being separated into three functions, all three shared in one function – that of spinning and cutting the thread of life:

You, too, dear father [Chiron], immortal now and by the law of your birth created to live forever: A time will come when you will be in agony from the poisonous blood of the vicious Hydra that has entered your body through a wound, and you’ll wish that you could die; and then the Gods will release you from divinity and give you death, and the Three Fates will cut the threads of your life. (Ovid, The Metamorphoses, circa 1st century CE)

And still earlier than these sources Plato writes that the Moirae each shared in the spindle:

The Moirai, daughters of Ananke, clad in white vestments with filleted heads, Lakhesis, and Klotho, and Atropos, who sang in unison with the music of the Seirenes: Lakhesis singing the things that were, Klotho the things that are, and Atropos the things that are to be. And Klotho with the touch of her right hand helped to turn the outer circumference of the spindle, pausing from time to time. Atropos with her left hand in like manner helped to turn the inner circles, and Lakhesis alternately with either hand lent a hand to each. (Plato, The Republic, circa 4th century BCE).

The descriptions of the Moirae are also contradictory of the MMC motif. A Latin poet by the name of Catullus writes that the Parcae (Latin equivalent of the Greek Moirae) are all aged:

Then the Gods seated Their limbs at the white benches, at tables richly heaped with various foods, while, moving their bodies in trembling dance, the Fates (Parcae) began to utter their prophetic song. Quivering seized their bodies, their white ankles wholly covered by the red hem of their dresses, and a red headband circling their white hair, and their hands were busy, as ever, at their eternal work. (Catullus, The Complete Poems: Poem 64, circa 1st century BCE).

UPG
It has often been stated by many people within the modern Pagan Community that our Mythic images are “evolving,” in the sense that somehow the purview of the ancients is less developed than us more advanced and enlightened folks. This progressive hubris – for that’s what it is – demeans the very Souls and Songs of the ancestors whom we claim our Mythic heritage from in the first place. It is almost as if we have grafted our consciousness onto the Christian-infused mentality that “primitive peoples” knew nothing about the world they inhabit, and instead we must rely on our Pagan Colonialism to impart the Unverified Personal Gnosis of the Gods as we individually see Them. Let’s forget for a moment that important word: unverified. Let’s forget that other important word: personal. Let’s instead focus on the third word: gnosis, which I think hearing in conversations about UPG makes me want to give myself another brain injury by slamming my head onto a hard wooden surface because the sheer overwhelming use of the word escapes the user. I feel like Inigo Montoya: “That word, I do not think it means what you think it means.” (If you don’t get the reference you need a life).

The word Gnosis is used in common parlance in these kinds of topics (such as UPG) that it is equivalent to the phrase, “I go by what I feel.” The person who states this many times loudly proclaims that they eschew Traditions, Lineages and even the knowledge of our ancestors in an attempt to reinvent the Mythic Wheel. They tout that no one can tell them what to do, that it doesn’t matter how they practice. Why, if they want to have Hekate or Persephone as a Crone, then by golly that’s what they’ll do. If they want to cast a square and mix Kali-Ma with Herne, then there you go. If they want to call the Morrighan a War Goddess capable of kicking ass and helping them deal with their low self-esteem, then that’s alright too. It’s “gnosis,” after all: you can’t be authoritative and tell them how to worship and what to do. … In a way, they’re right: no one has the right to tell others how to believe or be dictators of conscience. But, on the obverse, when you enter the world of Myth and the faith of our ancestors and you eschew the Gods and spirits for poetic licensing because you just want to be an anarchist in the wrong sense of the word, you and I will have words.

Gnosis, if you do your research, is actually rooted in tradition. The various Gnostics in the early centuries of the Christian Era wrote down their sacred scriptures and built on the spiritual traditions that were flooding the Near East at the time (the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library confirms this, as well as other Gnostic works such as the Corpus Hermeticum). Rather than a discombobulated movement, the Gnosticism which is portrayed by writings and archaeological evidence supports the assertion that it was a much more unified movement that reacted against the growing orthodoxy and establishment of the Early Church. The main goal of the teachings within Gnosticism was to break from the need to join an institution to find salvation and instead look within to attain Enlightenment. Thus, it was a complete system that was workable and made sense: it wasn’t just an eclectic mishmash of whims and fancies. It was a careful and select synthesis. Although there were and are various schools of thought within Gnosticism, nonetheless a coherency and thread can be traced. (For further information as a starting point I encourage Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism by Kurt Rudolph).

In this rationale, UPG makes no sense. Gnosis is the equivalent of Enlightenment: liberation by finding Unity. It is a process that takes discipline and intense training to gain a “Holy Fuck!” moment that can neither be described nor transcribed. It is unique to the oriental systems which pollinated into the West. So with that being said, I repeat: the term UPG makes no sense. None. Gnosis is a spiritual experience rooted in a cohesive system designed to kick the living shit out of you in order to laboriously push through the suffering in this world and the illusion of matter and achieve the long sought for Unity of Self with Godhood. That’s bullshit when it comes to viewing Hekate as a Crone. You know what that is? That’s spiritual laziness. That’s slothfulness. That’s disrespect, pure and simple.

Entropy
The MMC motif as proscribed by Robert Graves was his own poetic reinterpretation of the Myths that he studied. Graves was a poet at heart, and this is important to keep in mind in order to separate his classical scholarly studies with his poetry. Although his poetry is beautiful, it isn’t Myth. Myth, or Mythos, is a sacred story traditionally passed on from one generation to another. It is rooted in the collective consciousness and morphogenetic fields of a clan, a tribe, a people. The Myths teach and impart to the people how to become better human beings, how to link with the Gods and spirits of their culture, and preserve the sacred identity that is inherent within their community. The Gods and spirits of our own ancestors are complex in nature, and are like the proverbial square peg in the round hole when it comes to the MMC images. For example, the Goddess Persephone is not only the Maiden Kore, but She is also Queen and Nymph in Her cult at Lokri. Demeter is both Mother of both the Earth Harvest as well as possessing chthonic qualities. Hekate is always a Maiden. Selene is a Maiden. Artemis is a Maiden. All of these Goddesses that people try and fit into MMC are robbing these Deities of their own Personalities and Characters in order for them to make some sense of Them that fits into their narrow mindsets. Do you know what this reveals? It’s not about the Gods; it’s about them. It’s not about accepting Them, it’s about changing Them to fit a mortal’s paradigm. Hence, it’s a form of hubris, and it’s no wonder these are the sorts of people that have little value of knowledge and would rather remain stuck in their ways. They don’t critically think and examine. They sloppily eat up and then regurgitate what everyone else has written. They claim that they are evolving, when in fact they are entropic to the core.

Eirene kai Hugieia!
(Peace and Health!)
~Oracle~