Personal or Impersonal Gods?

I’ve been thinking recently about my relationship with the gods. Honestly, it hasn’t been the best. Crappy “I’ve been busy” excuses aside, part of me wonders if the gods care much that I’m not pouring out wine or burning fat every night. My health is getting better, I’m slowly growing close to a beautiful, intelligent girl, and honestly, things are pretty good. So, if piety isn’t the cause, then what?

I don’t mean to tempt fate, or incur the gods to wrathful retribution, but I’m wondering if the notion of personal relationships with the divine is necessary. I’m not sure. The concept is essential to mystery religion, sure, but for we run-of-the-mill types? I’m no priest, and even if I were, I’m more for the wartime religion of Ares, not the stay-at-home kind, so I doubt that will happen any time soon.

Maybe some gods are more personal than others. Aphrodite may show interest in individuals, but in my experience, Ares doesn’t really pick sides. Axis or ally? Doesn’t really matter to him, as long as there’s blood. Surely a major part of Ares’s ancient cult was about persuading Him to choose your own side, but if you aren’t out for blood, what then? Does He care? I don’t know. I have noticed he often favors women, but that’s more an observance than a rule. Who knows? Just something to ponder on I suppose.

Anthology Update

I wanted to update everyone about the progress the Anthology, which is as yet untitled (a poll will be coming soon, methinks). I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet of all the submissions, because I’m a nerd like that, and this is what I have so far:

 

Poetry: 1 Ares and 3 Mars

Prayers: 4 Ares and 1 Mars

Photo: 1 Ares

Short Story: 1 Mars

 

So far it’s a pretty good mix. for being open only two months, I’ve received 11 entries, with pledges of at least ten more. Remember, you have until 1 Aug.

The Bell

The bell is probably the most important element of a fight. It tells us when enough is enough, allows the combatants to take a  break and regain their strength, and lets everyone’s adrenaline fade before it becomes dangerous. Winter is like the bell–it serves as a sort of literal cooling off period. In the ancient world, winter marked the end of war for the year, and in many places, that still holds true in modern warfare, at least in part. Indeed, winter in Afghanistan is relatively quiet compared to spring and fall.

The problem with flame wars and culture wars, like the one between the devotionals/deists and the humanists/archetypalists (as I’m calling everyone for lack of better/more specific vocabulary), is that these conflicts never take a real break. No one is putting their torches and pitchforks. It’s getting old. It’s a big part of the reason I’m not getting involved. There’s a time and place for everything, and now is not the time.

How much more bitching and whining is everyone willing to put up with? The Hellenic Revival festival already fell apart. Are y’all happy about that? I’m not. Am I really surprised, though? Not really. Every time someone tries to make something nice, someone else has to shit on it. That in turn makes all of person A’s friends wait for person B to make something to shit on. It’s like Palestine and Israel. Or Kindergarten.

So ding goes the bell, at least for me. I’m taking a break. I’m going to rest. See y’all April 1st.

Untitled Ares/Mars Anthology open or submissions!

Bibliotheca Alexandrina is seeking submissions for a devotional anthology in honor of Ares, God of War and his Roman counterpart Mars, Father of Rome. Submissions will open February 1, 2014 and close August 1, 2014, with an expected release date of November 1, 2014. This anthology is being edited by P.T. Helms.

A variety of material is appropriate for inclusion in the anthology. Examples include, but are not limited to prayers, rituals, hymns, essays, visual artwork, and short stories or plays.

Areas worth exploring include Ares’ and Mars’ cults, both ancient and reconstructed, comparing and contrasting the Greek and Roman gods, exploring the relationships of the gods to others in their respective pantheons, exploring the gods’ realms beyond the battlefield, analyses of Ares and Mars in myth and poetry, representations of either god in popular culture, exploration of syncretic practices, and historical essays.

Multiple submissions by the same author are acceptable, and all contributors will retain original copyright to their work. Previously published material is also acceptable, provided the author retains the original copyright. All contributors must complete a publication release prior to the publication date or their work will not be included in the anthology.

Absolutely NO plagiarism. All work must be the original work of the author or include proper citations where necessary; the preferred citation styles for this anthology are MLA or APA. Title pages and abstracts are not necessary. Any work that has been plagiarized will be excluded from the finished anthology.  The editor reserves the right to make minor changes to formatting, spelling, and grammar if necessary. The editor also reserves the right to request modifications of submissions or to reject submissions as necessary.

Artwork must be at least 300dpi. Send all submissions in the body of the email or as .doc/.rtf, or .jpg, attachments. Please send all questions or submissions to the editor at aspisofares@gmail.com. All contributors will receive a coupon code which will allow them to purchase up to three (3) copies at cost. No monetary compensation will be provided. Proceeds from all sales will be divided between charitable donations in honor of the Deities and production costs for future publications from Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

 

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I’ve already received four or five submissions, not including the material of my own I plan on adding. Please keep them coming and spread the word!

War-God’s Game

Cool breezes blow across fields of gold,

Drums rumble and trumpets peal,

The clash of bronze rings clear above the din.

 

The war-god stride amongst the men

Plucking favorites from the fallen

Distributing the gold of death.

 

Sweat and blood sate the thirsty earth

And feet churn the bones like pressing wine

Murmurs of shades haunt the field

 

Crows sound the feasting call

Flesh melts and souls depart

Ares collects his dice

Ready for the next game.