Breaking Silence

I’ve spent the last month or so abiding by a silence of sorts. Ares told me to be sparing with my words, so very few of you have heard them. I have been working dutifully on my art and improving myself for the duty I believe my god is preparing me for. Honestly, that means walking more with Ares’ consort than the war-god. However, I’m taking some time to write because it is Veteran’s Day.

I both enjoy and despise Veteran’s Day. One the one hand, I get to celebrate the hundreds of people I was fortunate to meet in the course of my service. I was lucky to be assigned first to a joint-service base for training and later to ISAF/NATO and travel to many places. I’ve traveled to 25 states in the US and did missions in over 25 separate countries doing combat overwatch, drug interdiction, counter-terrorism, anti-piracy, border enforcement, and even humanitarian relief work. I worked with operators and soldiers from all the services as well as the English, French, Dutch, Afghan, and Danish militaries. I’ve developed a closer relationship with the Marines as opposed to my other sister services because of my assignments, but I have dear friends in the Navy and Army, too.

On the other hand, it makes me uncomfortable when people thank me for my service, because at the end of the day, most people don’t know what they’re thanking me for. I was in a unit tasked mostly to watch Marines and call targets for them. While we never pulled triggers on the enemy, we nonetheless arranged the fighting according to the machinations of the war strategy and needs of the commanders on the ground. We were as the watchful eyes of gods, but we were not gods, and we lost plenty of good Marines and Brits. So no one can thank me for that. And you can’t really thank me for “doing what needed done,” because by the time I hit my combat unit, few back home believed in the war. The only people who really deserved thanks are the dead, and my family and friends who gave me up to the Machine.

That all being said, please wear your red poppies and give a supportive pat on the back to your military friends. Teach those who ask you about its meaning. If you’re feeling particularly generous, maybe you can send a few bucks to my favorite charity, Soldier’s Best Friend. They rescue dogs and train them to care as service dogs and companions for wounded warriors who are having trouble adjusting due to TBI or PTSD. I know my own little dog, while not a SBF dog, has helped me tremendously. And for the love of Ares, don;t you dare thank me for anything, or a pox on your house ;) Hail Ares!

Festival Time

Well folks, it finally looks like it’s happening. There is going to be a full-fledged Hellenic festival next fall sponsored by the folks over at Thessaly Temenos in Louisiana, USA.

I. Am. STOKED.

I don’t care if only five people other than myself show up; I’m really looking forward to meeting some people. I’ve already begun sketching out my banner and ritual wear. Which makes me think: if any of you want to go that do not belong to a temenos or demos, I propose creating one, at least in spirit, for we Areistai. I think it would be pretty cool. I’ve already been working towards this privately, of course, but it would be nice to be semi-official.

Also, for those of you who are considering going, if there is support for it, I wouldn’t mind leading a ritual, especially since the Greater Aresia festival I created should fall near the proposed Thessalian festival. Y’all can vote on it at the bottom if you like. If there’s enough call for it, it would be fun to write a sacred drama of the binding of Ares, with actors representing the gods and all. Armor is part of my ritual wear after all.

That’s all I really have on this right now. Make sure to check out the link and look at all the events they already have planned. Just don’t wet yourselves from excitement. Until then, Hail Ares! 

Getting Started with Ares

To “get the ball rolling” as Sannion put it, I wanted to write a short post for beginners and those unfamiliar with Ares to begin approaching him in worship.

On the fifth day of the lunar month, give an offering to Ares of incense (Orpheus suggests frankincense) or wine and say a prayer or recite either the Homeric or Orphic hymn to Ares. This is a very simple and unobtrusive way to add Ares’ worship into your routine.

If you want to further your understanding of the god, consider reciting and contemplating the Adorations of Ares. These hundred or so simple statements reflect on Ares’ nature, his role in the cosmos and religion, and the mysteries associated with him.