Glories and Laments


I apologize if this comes off as a bit of a rant, but I’m frustrated today.

 

Why am I frustrated and thus whining to you all? I am frustrated because there’s just not enough about Ares out there. I spent about two hours or so searching for any kind of depiction of the statue of Ares at Sparta, where he is shown in chains that his favor would never be able to leave the city. But no, nothing. Nothing but the same thing over and over, that and screen shots from either Xena or God of War. This bothers me. Oh, and half the websites out there about Ares have decayed or shut down (Geocities anyone?). Thus, I am grumpy.

I wish there was a little more interest in Ares. I’ve been trying to drum up interest for an Ares anthology over at NA, but no luck. Ares just isn’t very popular. If he is, it always seems to come from the self-help angle that just seems to rub me the wrong way. What I wouldn’t give to have an active, committed community of Ares worshipers to worship with. Maybe I’m just being impatient. After all, there has been some stirring in the Aresian community as of late.

Maybe, if I want to create that community, I’m going to have to break the biggest taboo of the polytheistic community- I’ll have to evangelize! Scary stuff, right. Advertising like a media whore may also have to be an option. I tell you, drumming up interest isn’t easy, especially when you’re trying to avoid being overly controversial. Who knows though, that could be part of the problem. Am I playing to far to the PC side of Ares? The survey was probably overly-ambitious, and my failure to produce  was probably a turn-off to a few folks.

On the positive side of things, my last post, For Ares Enyalios, will be published in the Neokoroi newsletter, He Epistole, in their up-coming winter issue. Maybe that will spark a little interest. I suppose the lack of artwork depicting Ares is simply an opportunity to create some and possibly inject some much-needed variety into the system. That being said, I could even go around and create my own anthology and self-publish.

Here’s to being grumpy! Hail Ares!

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11 comments on “Glories and Laments

  1. Apollodorosh says:

    Did you volunteer yourself for editing such an anthology by Neos Alexandria? Perhaps you could push ’em a little bit.

  2. Aj / Melia says:

    I know there is a list of anthologies in waiting at NA but honestly I do not remember seeing your request come across. Did you volunteer to edit it or did you just toss out the idea?

    I hear you on the representation problem. I want one of Zeus that is something besides him sitting on a throne or throwing lightning. I did find a nice bust finally but trying to find a nice pendant that represents him? Impossible.

    And yes, if you want community, you are going to have to work for it. NA is a good place to start or you could start over from scratch. Pick one day a month to ritual and then trumpet that far and wide. When that seems to take off add another or another activity.

    As for the “self-help angle”, that is only a part of who he is but it is a part that people can readily accept, so use that to get their foot in the door. But then I have always seen Ares as more than a blood-thirsty thug and not many do because that is the way he is portrayed in all the myths (with exception of the ones involving Aphrodite).

    • pthelms says:

      I did both. I know Rebecca is enormously busy, so if she saw my request and put it in the back of her mind and perhaps forgot, I in no way fault her or anyone else. They have a lot to keep up with, so I fully understand. I know once it was mentioned I didn’t make too much of a stink afterward; I’m not too active a poster on NA and I didn’t want to be rude to the others who were organizing their own more immediate anthologies.

      It’s funny you should mention jewelry; I was just talking to my metallurgist friend about picking up supplies to start jeweling again. Perhaps if you gave me an idea of what you might want, I could see what I could do about crafting the piece,

      Speaking of ritual, I’m currently trying to develop a feast day type festival for Ares, because either he never really had one, or there is a lack of evidence from those regions that would plausibly have them. I was thinking along the lines of an agon, with stuff like wrestling, mma, foot races and the like, with the prizes being a little more modern- challenge coins like the military uses. As for a monthly thing, I’m not sure what to do so much, except perhaps purification rites, which are actually covered quite nicely in relation to armies and soldiers in Robert Parker’s “Miasma- Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religion”. In fact, I shelled out the $80 on the book for exactly that reason; so few people in the Pagan community serve in the military, and fewer yet in a combat role, and simple needs like purification after battle and reintegration into the community are rarely examined.

      Thankfully, it’s feedback and dialogue like this that helps me to focus my ideas into more actionable form. Thanks!

      • Aj / Melia says:

        Give me an idea what you can do, jewelry-wise, as that is a very large area. I want something that signifies Zeus’ khthonic traits…so oak trees and snakes, a bust with oak leaves in the hair…

        Personally I think your focus on Ares’ military aspects only short changes him. He was a dancer and a loving father. He had to have something in him besides testosterone to keep Aphrodite’s interest…but then I think Ares and Mars are the same divinity peering through different cultural lenses. I also think he is a great motivator for maintaining physical fitness too.

        If you want to do the devotional, then get on Rebecca’s list of future anthologies.

      • pthelms says:

        It’s ironic that you should comment on my focus of Ares’ martial qualities as I was finishing up a post on other aspects of his character :).

        As far as the jewelry thing goes, I can do casting, anything with wire, carving in bone or wood, you name it. I’m not a master smith by any means, but things like a cast/stamped pendant are a piece of cake.

      • Aj / Melia says:

        There are a bunch of symbols that call khthonic Zeus to my mind: oak (or specifically the Dodona oak with doves and bells/cauldrons in or around the tree), snakes, ram horns, the Panhellenic sun with a lightning symbol in the middle (2 stylized lilies joined by a sphere which I have also seen simplified into a double epsilon), cornucopia, wolves, bees, lilies, labrys (though it would need to have something to make it obvious that it belongs to Zeus) or even and ornate Z with a curling tail (upper horizontal line like a lightning bolt, diagonal line like a tree, bottom horizontal line like a snake), etc. If that doesn’t give you any ideas, I’m sure I could come up with some more. 🙂

  3. When I finally get up a website, a slow painful process, I plan on devoting a section to Ares. I dont’ consider myself especially attracted to him but being a fiery tempered Scorpio I have to admire the god in some ways 😉 Conflict can be good and bad…good in the way that it motivates change particularly. It is not always all that easy, and often is not pretty. But it is necessary. It is a part of nature whether it gives us warm fuzzy feelings or not 😉

    • Apollodorosh says:

      Exactly. This is something so often forgotten or neglected by fluff bunnies and eclectic neopagans who just care for the warm, fuzzy feeling, rather than actually for the worship of the Gods.

      Good luck with your website, Lykeia, and off course with keeping control of that fiery temper of yours 😉

  4. […] Helms decries the lack of material on Ares: Why am I frustrated and thus whining to you all? I am frustrated because […]

  5. […] at the Aspis of Ares laments the lack of Ares stuff in the Pagan […]

  6. […] at the Aspis of Ares laments the lack of Ares stuff in the Pagan […]

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