The Pokey Finger of God

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Fellowship: Mysteries of Venus and Hermes

January 4th, 2012 · No Comments · fellowship

The educational organization (the Fellowship) described in the previous post would necessarily be included within the context of an organization that modeled its principles. This outer, or sister, organization would be the Temple, providing a regular calendar of celebratory events, workshops, meditation settings, and frequent opportunities to commune with the spirits of community and place. A popular and well attended temple could easily subsidize and support an educational organization that served to bring more people to the temple, and to bring active members closer.

All of the behavior that is expected of participants — from social niceties to ritual practice — should be regularly modeled. Mythic presentations should include examples of home, family, place, and work worship and practice. Community ritual should be closely modeled on family rituals. It’s good to have books and videos that describe and explain things, too, but modelling the action will enable the educational purpose better.

The Temple will focus on gods of place, gods of community, and the Mysteries of Venus and Hermes. It is in the rituals, ceremonies, celebrations, and sacrifices made to these ends that the habits of home and family practice are demonstrated. The celebrations of the gods of place and community will serve to build and bond the the Temple family together. But it is the Mysteries that will draw the crowds from which the Temple family will grow.

The Mysteries of Venus and Hermes are based on two mythic cycles that correspond to the movements of the planets Venus and Mercury in the sky. In summary, retrograde periods are times for learning and re-assessing, while solar conjunctions represent transformations, and the mythic cycles accommodate presentations, rituals and celebrations that are incorporated into the general Temple calendar.

Gods of place include the spirits of every definable boundary the Temple is within: city, county, state, and country; but also spirits of the watershed and the surrounding watersheds; and also spirits of the neighborhood, zip codes, school districts, and so on. In Texas, you could conceivably include spirits of every nation that had prior claim to the land: Spain, Mexico, France, Texas Republic, and the Confederacy.

Gods of community reference the spirit of the Temple family directly, but also the spirits of communities the membership also belongs to for fun, for work, investment into the community: sport team fan clubs, scouting groups, athletic clubs, or unions, professional clubs, and interest groups. The community is a family of families, and so the spirits of all the families represented by the Temple family are also honored.

Once the Temple has a dedicated space and can keep a regular schedule, the spirits of place and community will get more play: until then, only once a year could there reasonably be a celebration of any size. The presentation of the Mysteries, however, can occur in existing theaters throughout the city and smaller facilities can be rented as needed until the size and enthusiasm of the community is such that a dedicated space becomes possible. The Mysteries, then, are the primary catalyst for the creation of the Temple family.

The Temple calendar is going to be very busy. In addition to keeping up with sun sign, rise and set, lunar phases, and signs, and seasonal quarters, there are also special dates for the Mysteries. Mercury goes retrograde three times a year and conjuncts the sun six times. Throw in shadow points to make an even busier calendar. Venus retrograde occurs on a regular cycle of short and long periods over eighteen months. Five of these cycles is sufficient to trace out a pentagram in the Zodiac, surrounding the Earth, so there are five points in the Zodiac that can be celebrated when conjoined by the Sun or Venus, so there’s four more smaller celebrations usually every three months, except when there’s a big festival. about every nine months.

The mythos of both cycles can dwell on themes of death, rebirth, struggle, loss, fear, and joy. Hermes is a psychopomp and holder of great wisdom. His thrice-yearly backwards journey provide a means to serialize the events in classic and modern myth. The Venus myths alternately focus on male and female manifestations of the hunter god and the lover god as they are born, have epic lives, then die, reborn as the other god form.

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