Originally, I was scheduled to go to Northampton specifically for a poetry reading… which has shut down. But I wound up hanging out with some friends from the pagan world — J, and E, and A. I was kinda hoping M and W would be there as well, but they apparently bailed or decided not to come. We wound up running into Wolf, who was smoking his pipe outside the Haymarket, and it was cool to talk to him. He’s planning on buying a Utilikilt, but he may wind up blowing the cash on a leather one. I’m envious.
J was pretty excited about attending this conference in Atlanta, called Mythic Journeys. If there’s another one next year, she wants me to come to it, and do a lot of greek myth poetry. That’d be cool, the conference looks like a good time. She wound up telling us all about it, all evening, and we mostly didn’t get a word in edgewise. E and A and I didn’t get much time to talk about , but you need to know, if you don’t already, that there are many, many spaces left, and there’s lots of room, and you can sign up and come to eastern New York for a weekend. We’d love to have you.
Today I’m going to try to memorize the Homeric Hymn to Helios the Sun. Yesterday, I worked on the Hymn to Gaia:
I will sing of well-founded Earth, mother of all, eldest of all beings.
She feeds all creatures that are in the world:
all that go upon the goodly land, and all that are in the paths of the seas,
and all that fly. All these are fed of her store.
Through you, O queen, men are blessed in their harvests
and blessed in their children, and it belongs to you
to give happiness to mortal men, and to take it away.
Happy is the man whom you choose to honor.
He has all things abundantly.
His fruitful land is laden with corn, his pastures are covered with cattle,
and his house is filled with good things. Such men
rule orderly in their cities of fair women: great riches
and wealth follow them.
Their sons exult with ever-fresh delight,
and their daughters in flower-laden bands
play and skip merrily over the soft flowers
of the field. Thus it is with those whom you honor,
O holy goddess, bountiful spirit.
Hail to thee, Mother of all the Gods, and wife of starry Heaven:
Bestow upon me for this my song substance that cheers the heart!
So. This is the Homeric Hymn to Gaia, and it dates from sometime between 800 B.C.E., and 680 B.C.E. I like it. It’s not terribly ornate or politically correct, but it gets the point across about who Gaia is, and what she’s about, and what she has done or not done, and how those whom she’s honored get to live. There’s not a lot of environmentalism in it; in fact, the agricultural and pastoral references pretty much deny most of that. It’s mostly about prosperity, and physical rather than emotional or spiritual prosperity, which lines up pretty nicely with the Tarot meaning of the suit of Earth, the Pentacles. Make of that what you will.
I need to go get coffee.