Friday, 23 December 2011

On Choosing/Being Chosen

It is not accurate to say that the gods chose their charges: the ones they love. It is also not accurate to say that that the charges choose their patrons. Rather, it is something that seems to happen simultaneously.

Charges are not servants of the gods, because they would choose to do the same activities whether they knew about the gods or not. Charges are close to a god because they share the same goals and the same agendas with their "patron".

And, in a way, you don’t have free reign over which patrons you choose. Because your choice of what virtues, ideas and activities to promote and do are influenced by your genetics and environment; things you have no control over.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

On Music

I have always been an individual of many interests and a multitude of capabilities. I know I am skilled in things that others strive to be skilled in. I am an extremely fast learner. I could easily excel in any field that I choose, but many ask me: Why not become a doctor? A lawyer? A stock broker? You have such great potential.

They ask me why I’d chosen music as my main discipline.

This is because there is another element in me besides this drive to learn and become excellent. I also have a great need to submerge myself in my feelings and imagination. I have a need to be absorbed, a need to dream, a need to be entranced, and it comes easily for me. If it were not for my need for trance, I would have chosen another discipline.

It is in music where I can satisfy both of my needs. In music, I can think and feel simultaneously, I can bask in its structural light or drown in a sensory bath. I can piece apart a song and examine how its parts interact, or swallow it whole.

You can say I have picked music as my drug of choice, or you can say that music has chosen me.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Bullied by the Gods

What Happened April 2011 a.k.a. Bullied by the Gods

Apollo: It seems like our boy is feeling that his art is uninspired and numb. He’s asking for more potent ideas. Complaining that his creative juices aren’t in constant flow.
Dionysus: That’s my boy, I’ve been waiting for that request! I’d love to give him a good juicing!
Apollo: I think he might be ready for this wish. Look, he’s already trying to fulfill his own wish by himself. I like an eager student. But we will have to work together with him on this one.
Dionysus: Of course, I can’t work with an unhealthy subject who won’t express himself.
Apollo: I can’t work with one that thinks he’s got nothing to write about.
Dionysus: Oh, I’ll give him something to write about.
Apollo: And I’ll make sure he writes everyday. Hm, it seems that we’ll have to give him the full treatment this time, to give him what he’s asking for. It won’t work any other way.
Dionysus: Ooh, I’m all for a full treatment! I’m excited! Can we get started now? I’ve already got a few things lined up for him.
Hermes: We’ve planned it together.
Aphrodite: I’m definitely in! I have something to get out of this one too.
Dionysus: Of course you are, dear! Anyway, these two take care of the triggers, but I get to take care of the crazy times.
Hermes: Of course, of course! But let me know what dreams you want sent.
Apollo: We’ll keep you posted. And I see that he and his family won’t like the next few months.
Athena: I think the timing is perfect.
Hera: I agree. Let us begin. Great greatness will arise from great adversity.
Hermes: Can anyone say, be careful what you wish for?

On Ariadne

Recently, I have been struggling with mood instability, depressive thoughts, mania, hallucinations, hysteria and other mental disturbances. It's not severe enough to send me to the loony bin or to get medicated, but enough so I hurt myself and the people around me in non-physical ways. (Though sometimes it threatens to become physical)

In my episodes of hysteria, I choose despair over life. I choose to succumb to my negative thoughts and feelings, instead of choosing happiness and compassion.

I realize, that this choice repeatedly presents itself in every moment of our life. And for every moment, we can choose a path of leading to more life, vitality, and happiness, or something else. We choose a path, and after we take that path, we'll have to choose from a dozen other paths. Happiness is a conscious choice.

It's something of a labyrinth.

I realize that trick is to find out which path leads to more life and happiness and to choose it, if that's what we want. We can choose to snap at somebody or smile at them, or we can choose between a high paying tedious job or a job we're passionate about. It isn't easy: we face challenges in finding out which path to take and in choosing to take that path. But our choice is always respected.

Thursday, 15 December 2011


Dionysus is a god of metamorphosis. When he grabs you, he will not let go until he is finished with you. With his mad gaze, your mind will be displaced, and with this displacement comes enlightenment. Madness reveals aspects of yourself that you never knew existed, and places in your mind you have avoided for so long. He will tell you “You are more than what you think you are.” and he will prove it. You are more than just a poet, more than just a man, more than just a young person. It is a very painful process, but you will come out of it more strange, and more beautiful.

D in partying

I’m still observing the dynamic between Apollo and Dionysus and how they work within me. I already know that these two forces feed on each other, at least inside me.

Apollo freely gives up his watch to Dionysus, and I do feel like the Oracle at Delphi sometimes.
Apollo: So did you have fun while I was gone?
Dionysus: Well, uh... it was alright.
Apollo: ONLY alright?
Dionysus: Yeah...
Apollo: Dennis, you get a D in partying.


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Live efficiently

Having caught the attention of Apollo means that you have to live efficiently, without waste. Everything you do must contribute to your improvement. You sleep well because you need to function excellently the day later, You take “breaks” to open yourself to inspiration and ideas, You travel and explore to gain insight about yourself and the world, You play games to hone your skills in strategy, You party to express your pent up emotion. For Apollo, there is no such thing as idleness: every moment must contribute to your progress.

Monday, 28 November 2011


The Muses are very busy entities. They are here and there, checking up on people’s thought processes and planting ideas. Knowing this, they don’t have time for the unworthy. They look for the skilled and the sincere and that’s who they spend time with.

Inspiration is a slippery thing. Many artists and scientists struggle with a “creative slump” or a “writer’s block”, and they wait for a muse to come along and save the day. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. But the muses do not choose people who do not choose them.

When you choose a discipline, you must dedicate yourself to it. This means you love it enough to think about it constantly and improve on it and love it enough to come back to it everyday even when the wells of inspiration are dry. You have to love your craft enough that you breathe it, that you see it in other crafts and the other things that you do. It is called a discipline for a reason, and perhaps it is no surprise that Apollo is their leader.

Become worthy, and the muses will flock to you.

Darkness and Light

I find it quite strange how Apollo is usually described as a young boy, gentle and smiling at the world. But for me, he is far from innocent, far from gentle, and you couldn’t really tell if he was smiling or frowning because if you tried to look, you’d burn your eyes. He is a stern master, more like a father than a child. For me, he is always there, always watching and pushing me towards excellence.

He does not forgive, because he has no reason to. He does not care about your mistakes. You can make as many mistakes as you want and it would not matter to Apollo. What does matter to him is that you are always striving to become better, always reaching for the ideal. You stumble, therefore you must pick yourself up.

Apollo will urge you to cut out everything that you don’t need and focus on the things that you do need. He is a minimalist, and it’s not an easy job to identify and cut out the unnecessary from your life. It hurts, in fact, but it is necessary.

There is no coddling with Apollo. When you are sick, you heal yourself. Apollo’s only reward is the one that you earn for yourself. He gives nothing more, nothing less. In other words, excellence is its own reward.

In my early readings about Dionysus, I was rather confused about how he was depicted a party god. Was partying that important to the Greeks? I did not party in bars at all, and I could not relate to him. But I when I learned more about his other aspects, about trance and madness, I could look back at my life and see how strong his presence is. I did not party but I tranced out on my own. I would focus my attention on a glass of water, so that just a glass of water would be enough to make me happy for that moment. If I did not experience these various flavors of ecstasy, I would likely not be a musician right now.

Those ecstatic moments are alright, but what really convinced me of his presence is his aspect of madness. I sometimes fall into bouts of depression. There are days when I feel extreme emotion I cannot control, destructive thinking and the feeling of my soul being ripped apart. He looks at me with mad eyes and a frothing mouth. Darkness and hopelessness fill me. I once read in high school, if you stare at the abyss, it stares right back at you.

In my moments of extreme despair, he sometimes just laughs and says “Oh, come on, it’s not that bad!” I don’t understand exactly why he does these things to me, but i am sure that I gain new perspectives after each episode. Perhaps it is these intense emotions that fuel the things that I do with force and passion, and impart my pursuits with an inexplicable “umph!”.
For me, the most prominent aspects that these two show to me are the “darker” aspects. Their “good” aspects don’t magnetize me as much as their more “destructive” aspects. So when I see descriptions of Apollo as a happy, childish sun god, or Dionysus as a merrymaking party god, I can only think: Oh, if you only knew what they really do.


My whole life feels like it’s a path of transformation. I’ve identified with the butterfly for this reason. My high school was described as a “trial by fire”, like how you have to heat metal ores to make strong swords, and a “fermentation” like the process of making fine wine from grapes. It’s no surprise that I feel like what I’m going through right now is a mirror of what I experienced in high school. I think another thing that Apollo and Dionysus have in common is the idea of regeneration. It’s even in my name!

Musings on the Gods and myself

I’m reading about Apollo in several blogs and they say he’s a possessive god. I kind of agree, but he’s possessive not in the sense that he doesn’t want to share, but maybe in the sense that he has to be very meticulous about the things he owns, like keeping an heirloom piano in tune and keeping it totally free from dust. Or maybe like a coach who wants to keeps his atheletes always at top performance. I feel it’s like:
“Are you done sulking?”
“Good. Now get back to work!”

I don’t really experience Hermes as close as I do Apollo and Dionysus (close enough to touch; Apollo by fire, Dionysus by madness), but he’s always in the background, and he’s always doing big things for me even if we don’t really touch. I think it’s inevitable that my friend who introduced me to paganism (a big Hermes-boy) and I would interact, since these three gods have something of a close relationship.

Athena comes and goes. It often feels like Apollo calls her for me.
Athena: Okay, what do you need?
Apollo: Look at that boy. You’re more suited to teach this next topic than I am. 
Athena: Alright, alright, I’ll handle this one.
Ares also comes and goes. Again, it feels like Apollo calls him for me.
Apollo: He’s being pathetic again. Do you mind?
Ares: It would be my pleasure.

It’s almost like Apollo’s prepared a course outline, and I’m a student in his school.

Though sometimes Dionysus comes to me with Ares. That’s when I have my weird bursts of anger. Very dangerous stuff.

Aphrodite and Eros. They don’t talk to me often, and I don’t communicate with them often. We’re not close now, but I’m very sure they’ve left their fingerprints on me. I feel like there’s something of them in me. Like a present from godparents or something.

For Apollo & Dionysus

My song is my journey.

To the muse-leaders,
Apollo & Dionysus
May you continue to sing with me
and inspire the coming verse
and the next note.

I am a new species of plant.

Apollo, the brilliant sunlight
that showers these leaves
Dionysus, the nutritious soil-water
sipped through my roots.

when your wondrous music stops,
so does mine.

I am a caterpillar in a fenced garden.

Apollo, the far-shooter, show me
what I can become.
Illuminate the world beyond the fences.
Dionysus, the liberator, give me
the force to transform.
Demonstrate that fences are only sticks of wood.

I will not listen
to those
who tell me
that I cannot fly

I am an ecstatic listener

Apollo & Dionysus, whisperers of prophecy
I will be standing in the shrine at Delphi
through many suns and many moons.
I inhale each vision with enthusiasm.
show me the target,
I will drink the bullseye.

I am a dancing star

filled with light and madness
the pain and pleasure of this process
I shed each layer
and disintegrate into nebula
Apollo & Dionysus, revealers of the true self,
when all is cast off
I will be what remains.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

A Mad Light

Hi, you can call me Dennis. Obviously, it isn't my real name. I'm very new to paganism and I don't really consider myself a pagan, but my friend had recently introduced it to me, and I use some of its concepts. I am a musician (among other things) and a Physics student, and I feel an attraction towards Apollo and Dionysus.

For a long time, I felt that my art was not going in the right direction, that it felt "dry" and uninspired. I felt like I had lost something after childhood and I wanted to get it back. It was April this year where I tried to do something about that. I read up on creativity and psychology books and did their exercises. At first it was harmless, until I was walking home exhausted one night and I had a flood of hallucinations. It felt like a dam holding back water was destroyed. Since then, I feel like my art has more "juice" and more "meat" and I could submerge in my imagination whenever I wanted. It was great, but I was not prepared for the other things that came with it. I suddenly had trouble with "self-management". I was doing things that were reckless, immature and/or impulsive. And what's funny is that I knew they were reckless, immature and/or impulsive but I did them anyways. I felt like different versions of me were fighting for dominance of my body. I felt my emotions twice as intensely. I used to have more control over them, but they overpowered me. It's like everything that I'd learned about managing my emotions, relating with people, thinking rationally, and making sound choices was deleted from my brain. I felt like a teenager again.

My friend told me that "it sounds like Dionysus." Out of desperation, I read on paganism and Hellenic gods and did a few rituals. I discovered that Apollo and Dionysus have some kind of pull over me, and I have been doing small rituals for them to help retain my sanity.

I was hurting myself and the people around me in non-physical and sometimes verging on physical ways, and my life felt like it was going on a bit of tailspin. I have to suddenly deal with internal and external challenges all at the same time. I feel like the gods have ganged up on me or something.

I'm much more stable now since it started, my art is still "juicy", I can still call up a deluge of imagination at will, I still feel emotions twice as strong, but I have much more control than before. I probably won't be needing a shrink but I still have a menagerie of internal and external challenges to deal with.

Some of my adventures since the breaking of dam include: struggling to combat suicide, prophetic lyrics, unbidden and dangerous hallucinations, nervous breakdowns where I almost get roadkilled, SEVERE migraines that have the WORST timing (but I've learned I could give a decent presentation about reproductive health while having the whole left side of my vision blanked out), a vision or hallucination of Apollo that appeared while I was asking about a job for commodity trading and instead getting a lecture about following your passion (It felt like the usually distant Apollo had to make a personal appearance "DON'T TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE TARGET", like how my piano teacher would grab my fingers when I was playing weird and make me play the right notes), going into a ritual trance and taking off my shirt in public (hurt the day after), and the most recent (three days ago): depression-induced eye poke!

I'm writing this now as I'm hoping maybe the community can give me more insight on Apollo and Dionysus. I've been having many dreams about the both of them. I've had a dream about astronauts and my mother having a traumatic eye operation. I've had a dream where I've been training this ability to make people go crazy, and I've had to fight a gunman with the power to heal. In a recent dream, I was able to see Apollo: a golden man whose face I can't see because it's too bright, and he's always carrying a bow around, which makes him difficult to hug but doesn't mean you can't try. This dream says that he has been my trainer since I was young, honing my skills, and I'd been memory wiped at some point so that I'd forget them. These are cool dreams but with the villains I've had to face in them, I'm glad they're just dreams. I've also prayed to Apollo before sleeping to heal my eye, and I had a dream in a dream where I woke up with my eye fixed, and then I realized it was a dream and from that I woke up with my eye fixed and I hugged my mother but I realized it was a dream and I woke up and my eye was still the same. I was Inceptioned. My eye is much better now though.

So! My experiences with the gods have been very gut-wrenching, insightful and emotional. I've had my encounters with other divinities as well: The Muses, Hermes, Ares, Aphrodite, Athena, Benzaiten, Hera, though Apollo and Dionysus remain at the focal point of my experiences. I'm hoping the community can tell me more about these gods, and especially Dionysus and Apollo, maybe your experiences with them as well?