X is for Xanadu, or How I Finally Met The Muses

(Look! A wild PBP post appears! More later on, because they aren’t done yet. Also, X topics. How I hate you. D:)

Today’s  story is about the Muses I work with and how I met Them. The Muses I work with are not the Olympian Muses. They are called either the Elder Muses, or the Titan Muses/Mousai Titanides. They are a group of three Muses, and are one of the older groups of Muses who existed before the Olympian Muses got solidified into a group of nine and ended up dominating the Muse gig for the rest of eternity (or so it seems.)

I’ve developed a bit of a soft spot for these Muses. They tend to get a paragraph in any article about the Muses, if They get mentioned at all. Theoi.com at least gives Them a separate page, short as it is.  I know Their parentage, Their names, and what Their domains are. That’s it. They’ve been forgotten, and I think half the reason They’re happy to work with me is because I know who They are. The other half is because I am willing to write about Them and hopefully inspire other people to get to know Them too.

Anyway. For those who have never heard of the Mousai Titanides, let me introduce you. They were the first group of Greek Muses, born of Ouranus and Gaia. They were the Titan Goddesses of Music, and there were but three of them; Aoide, whose name means Song; Mneme, whose name means Memory, and who is sometimes linked to Mnemosyne, the Mother of the Muses (I don’t experience this connection though; They feel like separate deities to me); and finally Melete, whose name means Practice or Meditation.

I was first introduced to Them as I was researching a Xanadu-inspired Muse story. I wanted, basically, to take the basic premise of the movie Xanadu (yes, that Xanadu), and turn it into an AU fanfic for a couple of my fandoms. (You can read the final story here, if you’re so inclined. Even my fandoms are obscure as fuck. #winning) So the interaction between Muse and human subject, and the creative process, tailored to the people I wanted to write about. Only, I’ve never been particularly drawn to the Olympian Muses, and didn’t want to use them if I didn’t have to, so when I went researching the Muses and discovered the existence of other Muses, I thought that was quite exciting. The three I was most drawn to also fit the story I was writing, so I went with Them.

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U is for UPG and Reconstructionism

I’m either brave or stupid for tackling the topic of Unverified Personal Gnosis, right? It’s, like, the cornerstone of much of the Pagan and Recon communities in how they conceptualise their religious experiences. I feel like it’s got a ‘Mess With This At Your Peril’ sign hanging off it.

*shrugs, charges in anyway*

You see, I have Thoughts about it that I’m not expecting everyone to agree with, or even adopt for themselves. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, particularly as I try and figure out where I am in relation to reconstructionist religions, and how our approaches differ. I’ll add that I will mostly be talking about Kemetic reconstructionism, though, for anyone playing at home, as it’s the one I have the most experience with. It may not ring true for any other flavours of reconstructionism. It probably doesn’t and nor is it meant to.

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R is for Ritual, Reflection, and Rebooting the System

I’m at a bit of a loss for focus this week. Far too many R related things have come to my attention, but I’m not sure I have the brain power to fully devote an entire post to them just yet. I had actually planned to write about ritual this week, and what ritual means to me. Because I don’t think I’ve written about that too much at all? Or maybe I have. IDK.

So anyway. Ritual! And then other reflecty type things, in which I tl;dr about all manner of things relating to Gods and such. I probably should’ve called this post R is for Rambling! Because that’s pretty much what this is. But it doesn’t sound as impressive as the title above does. 😛

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Q is for Queer Paganism

Still working on that second P post; I keep changing my mind on what to write about. But nevertheless, I have been away this weekend, and managed to get this Q entry done, so that’s something.

I hesitated in even doing this topic at all, for fear that all I’d have to say is something like, ‘YAY QUEER GODS’ and ‘I DON’T KNOW’. Because this isn’t really a Thing, at least not a Thing that can be defined with a single definition. At the same time, I feel I ought to write about it anyway, because it’s something that needs to be discussed more within Pagan circles.

At the same time, though, whatever I talk about here isn’t some definitive thing either. It’s probably just going to end up as my musings on what queer paganism means to me, and if anyone gets anything out of it, awesome. Which is my approach for all these sort of things. These are just my thoughts, nothing more. I don’t have all the answers, nor do I want to, and I feel that a thing like queer paganism is something that needs to be defined for yourself.

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G is for Gender, Queerness, and the Gods

I’ve had this image of a Goddess in my head for a few weeks now. She came to me in the midst of a Beltaine fire. The only name for Her I have is the Horned Goddess.   She is – one of Her breasts has scars/marks on it; it has both been removed and built at the same time. The other is untouched. Her genitals are of indeterminate gender, female, but also male, and neither at the same time. But She has wide hips and a feminine appearance, as well as large stag antlers on Her head. She wanted me to draw Her; which I managed, I think, in this sketch. (NSFW; She is naked, after all.) (Black background is for contrast; it’s not a great scan.)

She is some sort of transgendered Goddess, some sort of strange forest Goddess who seems to embrace all sorts of forms of Femininity, not just those who have been born female. (I suspect She may be a bit more queer than just female, but I have nothing to support this at the moment.) I find Her incredibly intriguing, and I don’t know if She’s a totally new Goddess, or an older Goddess in disguise. But She keeps on hanging around on the fringes of my mind, and I have no idea what She might want. That She came to me in connection with Beltaine, the one Sabbat I find very hard to get my head around as a genderqueer pagan, I don’t think is a coincidence.

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My Current Shrines

Thought I’d post updated shrine pics, since I’ve spent the past two months rearranging them and rearranging them some more. But I think we’re finally happy now, for the moment.Just two pictures with long descriptions about what’s there. Everything on them holds meaning. Nothing is there for no reason.

Also, I will get around to cross-posting my paganism meme entries here too, just so they’re here. They were up on the old site and I’d like them here too.

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The Mousai Titanides (The Elder Muses)

Since this is something of a spiritual blog, I might as well talk about these three Goddesses, since I appear to be the only one who’s ever tried to work with Them. I’ve made a virtual shrine for the Three over here, so feel free to light a candle and say a prayer if you feel you need some inspiration. I’m sure They wouldn’t mind the extra attention.

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