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I've been pretty busy lately. I'm not sure when I'll really have a chance to get back to researching and writing it up. In the meantime, I bring you links to other people's thought-provoking work.

I enjoyed the Thor movie. I, however, know just enough of Norse mythology to recognize some of the places where it was referenced ... and not enough to recognize where it's been messed up, so I've been somewhat interested in the opinions of people who do know their Norse mythology.

Of all the things I've read, two articles over at Killing the Buddha have really caught my eye: The Trouble with Loki and its predecessor Valhal-mart.
17th-Feb-2010 07:50 pm - Returning to posting soon
It's been a while. Life has changed quite a bit for me. I'm no longer a student, and my time is structured in an entirely different way now. I'm still figuring it out.

I hope to return to researching things soon, probably smaller topics to start with. Sadly, the resources available to me when I was a student are available to me no longer, so I don't have access to as wide a variety of source material.
5th-Mar-2007 09:29 pm - A bit of a delay
I haven't updated in a while, and it will probably be a little bit longer before I am able to do so again. I am in my last semester of graduate school and currently looking for a job. With midterms coming up and just getting caught up from a couple weeks spent traveling due to an illness and death in the family, I just haven't had time to spend on research and writing like I would like. My first priorities are to the core of my religious practices and to my schoolwork and future career, which sadly leaves me time for expanding my knowledge less often right now than I would like.
Müller, W. Max. "Egyptian." The Mythology of All Races. Vol. 12. Boston: Marshall Jones Co., 1918. Rpt. as Egyptian Mythology. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2004.

[Amazon link]


Author's Preface
1. The Local Gods
2. The Worship of the Sun
3. Other Gods Connected with Nature
4. Some Cosmic and Cosmogonic Myths
5. The Osirian Circle
6. Some Texts Referring to Osiris-Myths
7. The Other Principle Gods
8. Foreign Gods
9. Worship of Animals and Men
10. Life after Death
11. Ethics and Cult
12. Magic
13. Development and Propagation of Egyptian Religion


Although the back cover claims Müller's Egyptian Mythology to have "served for generations as a reader-friendly introduction to the vast complexities of Egyptian myth," it seems to me that it would be a poor introduction to one with little or no knowledge. The discussion within sometimes jumps from topic to topic, with discussion on any given topic therefore sometimes quite spread out, and it might be difficult for someone with little background in Egyptian mythology to follow.

This book is a step beyond those books which present a mostly unified view of Egyptian religion or which present only a single retelling of the myths. It discusses throughout the contradictions and changes over time which exist. The tellings of myths come from translations of original texts, with uncertainties indicated and variations marked. A number of hymns and pieces of hymns are also presented in translation.

The first chapter emphasizes the development of gods from local spirits in Egyptian thought. This attention to the development of the deities carries through the next two chapters, as differing and generally conflicting descriptions of the gods and their relations are discussed with no attempt to artificially coalesce the differences into a single whole. Rather, the origins of each are related as much as is known, as well as the manners in which the Egyptians combined them or let them coexist.

The ninth through twelfth chapters shift the focus from the mythology itself to the practices associated therewith, touching on the most important aspects of Egyptian religion. The final chapter discusses the development and spread of Egyptian religion.

The main detriment to the book is the difficulty in locating information within it when not reading straight through. It lacks an index, and in some chapters, the information presented is not necessarily in any sort of easily discernable order. It does contain a pair of chapters which alphabetically list and describe gods native to Egypt and those from foreign lands.
17th-Jan-2007 02:13 pm - Reworking this LJ a bit
I'm going to be reworking this LJ a little bit over the next few days. I've finally settled on a workable system for keeping my notes here (friends-locked and backdated to prevent spamming people's friends lists, but I'll post a list of links every couple weeks or month of what I've updated so that anyone interested can actually see what I've been up to). My entry tags were somewhat haphazardly done, so I'll be updating them in the near future.

My academic situation has also changed, so I should have more time to spend on the things that I want to put here. I was pretty short on time once last semester got started, and that time went first to my studies and my own personal practices, and only then to working on things to put here.

I've got a tentative goal of doing a more major piece of research (like the one on the first month of the Athenian year I finished over the summer) every week or two, starting with finishing out the Athenian festival year and then the Egyptian one, with a few other things thrown in as I get them done. I'll be trying to get entries on Tarot cards up every few days, as well.

I'm also making an effort to read through the books I've been slowly amassing as references and will be posting reviews of them as I read them. The first such will probably be up in the next day or two, as I've only got about half a chapter left.
5th-Nov-2006 01:58 pm - Article: Tarot - Five of Swords

Tarot - Five of Swords


A man looks with scorn at two departing dejected figures1 whose two swords lie on the ground.2 A third and fourth sword rest against the man’s shoulder as he carries them, and he holds a fifth in his right hand with its point toward the ground.3 In the background, the sky is filled with storm clouds.4


Defeat.5 Conquest of others.6 Degradation.7 Destruction.8 Dishonor,9 infamy.10


Chance of loss or defeat,11 weakness.12 Empty victory.13 Burial.14

ReferencesCollapse )
EndnotesCollapse )
5th-Nov-2006 01:27 pm - Article: Tarot - Four of Swords

Tarot - Four of Swords


The effigy of a knight in an attitude of prayer lies at full length upon his tomb.1 Three swords hang over him while the fourth is fastened along the side of the tomb.2


Retreat, solitude.3 Rest after conflict or illness.4 Repose.5 Banishment, exile.6


Renewal of activity.7 Circumspection, economy, precaution.8

ReferencesCollapse )
EndnotesCollapse )
30th-Oct-2006 10:14 pm - Tarot - Three of Swords

Tarot - Three of Swords


Three swords pierce a heart in front of a stormy sky with clouds and rain.1


Separation,2 removal, absence.3 Division, strife, quarrels.4 Sorrow, disappointment.5 Delay.6


Loss.7 Confusion, disorder.8 Alienation,9 incompatibility.10 Error.11 Distraction.12

ReferencesCollapse )
EndnotesCollapse )
30th-Oct-2006 09:35 pm - Article: Tarot - Two of Swords

Tarot - Two of Swords


A blindfolded woman1 sits with her back to the sea,2 balancing two swords on her shoulders3 as a crescent moon shines overhead.4


Balanced forces.5 Truce, stalemate.6 Conformity and the equilibrium which arises from it.7 Concord.8 Friendship,9 affection.10


Duplicity, disloyalty.11 Imposture, misrepresentation, lies.12

ReferencesCollapse )
EndnotesCollapse )
30th-Oct-2006 08:52 pm - Article: Tarot - Ace of Swords

Tarot - Ace of Swords


A hand emerging from a cloud holds a sword, around the point of which is a crown.1 Olive and palm branches fall from the crown.2


Force or power,3 especially triumphant.4 Conquest5 or the beginning thereof.6 Excessive degree in everything.7 Great force in extreme emotion, deep love or hatred.8 Fertility.9


Disaster,10 sometimes led to by excess power.11 Tyranny.12 Obstacles.13 Infertility.14

ReferencesCollapse )
EndnotesCollapse )
29th-Jun-2006 10:15 pm - Homeric Hymn 10: To Aphrodite

Homeric Hymn 10: To Aphrodite

I sing of Cyprus-born Cytheria, who to mortals
Gives kind gifts, and on Whose lovely face
She is always smiling and lovely brilliance runs.

Hail, Goddess, guardian of well-built Salamis
And Cyprus on the sea; give a chaming song.
But I will remember both you and another song.

Greek text source: The Perseus Project. <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=HH+10+1>.
Translation: Meryat

29th-Jun-2006 01:04 am - Homeric Hymn 11: To Athene

Homeric Hymn 11: To Athene

I begin to sing of Pallas Athene, protector of the city,
Terrible, Who with Ares cares for warlike deeds,
The cities being sacked and the war-cry and the battles,
And She also protects the soldiers both going and coming.

Hail, Goddess, and give to us good fortune and prosperity.

Greek text source: The Perseus Project. <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=HH+11+1>.
Translation: Meryat

The first Olympiad began in the summer of 776 BCE, so the 696th Olympiad began in 2005. According to http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/MoonFraction.html, the crescent this month is first visible at midnight on June 26th (for the US), and that for next month on July 26th. Athenian days began at sunset, so the first day of Hekatombaion in the second year of the 696th Olympiad began June 25th at sunset and will end at sunset on July 25th.

Dates marked are for the daylight hours of the day, so days start at sunset the night before.

For more information on the festivals of Hekatombaion, including source listings, see http://meryat.livejournal.com/5980.html.

Day in
6/261Sacred to Selene and Apollo
Noumenia ("new month")
6/283Sacred to Athene
6/294Sacred to Aphrodite, Hermes, and Herakles
Aphrodisia, honoring Aphrodite Pandemos and Peitho ("Persuasion")
7/16Sacred to Artemis
7/27Sacred to Apollo
7/38Sacred to Poseidon and Theseus
7/712Sacred to Kronos
Kronia, honoring Kronos and Rhea
7/813Sacred to Athene
7/1015Sacred to Selene and Athene
7/1116Sacred to Aphrodite Pandemos, Peitho, and Eirene ("Peace")
Synoikia, honoring Athene and Eirene
7/2227Panathenaia ta Mikra (Lesser Panathenaia), honoring Athene, begins
7/2328Sacred to Athene
Panathenaia ta Mikra ends
7/2530Sacred to Hekate
Hene Kai Nea ("the old and new")

The Athenian Month of Hekatombaion

The first month of the Athenian year is Hekatombaion, named for an old festival honoring Apollo that was no longer celebrated in classical times.1 The month was originally named Kronion, after another festival which had lost most importance by classical times.2 Hekatombaion begins at sunset with the first visible crescent moon following the summer solstice.3

Sacred to Selene4 and Apollo5
Noumenia (“new month”)6
3:Sacred to Athene7
Sacred to Aphrodite,8 Hermes,9 and Herakles10
Aphrodisia, honoring Aphrodite Pandemos and Peitho11
6:Sacred to Artemis12 as Her birthday13
Sacred to Apollo14 as His birthday15
Hekatombaia, honoring Apollo16
8:Sacred to Poseidon and Theseus17
Sacred to Kronos18
Kronia, honoring Kronos and Rhea19
13:Sacred to Athene20
15:Sacred to Selene21 and Athene22
Sacred to Aphrodite Pandemos, Peitho, and Eirene23
Synoikia, honoring Athene and Eirene24
Panathenaia ta Megala (Greater Panathenaia) in year
three of the Olympiad, honoring Athene25
27-28:Panathenaia ta Mikra (Lesser Panathenaia), honoring Athene26
28:Sacred to Athene as Her birthday27
Sacred to Hekate28
Hene Kai Nea (“the old and new”)29


The Aphrodisia most likely took place on 4 Hekatombaion.30 The cult images of Aphrodite Pandemos (“Aphrodite of the whole population”) and Peitho (“Persuasion”), both of whom were honored at the festival, were carried in procession to a place at which they were washed.31


The Hekatombaia was held on the seventh day of the month.32 Its importance was once great enough that it lent its name to the month in which it occurred, but it was no longer of importance in Attica by classical times.33


The Kronia held on 12 Hekatombaion was, as its name suggests, in honor of Kronos,34 perhaps with Rhea.35 The original functions of Kronos have been lost save for His position as father of Zeus, but much speculation exists that He was originally a God of the grain harvest and had a reaping hook as a symbol.36 His festival may have thus marked the final end of the grain harvest.37 By the classical period, however, only one feature of the Kronia survived: It was a holiday for slaves and a day when they were allowed to dine with their masters.38 The resemblance to the Roman Saturnalia extends to name as well, as Greek writers applied the same name to the Saturnalia as to the Kronia.39


The Synoikia, held on the sixteenth day of Hekatombaion,40 was inaugurated to commemorate the unification of a number of small kingdoms into the city-state of Athens.41 The festival honors the Goddesses Athene42 and Eirene (“Peace”).43

Panathenaia ta Mikra (Lesser Panathenaia)

The Lesser Panathenaia was held every year on the twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth day of the month44 in honor of Athene.45 The chief day of the festival was on 28 Hekatombaion, when the grand procession would start at sunrise, carrying a peplos (robe) for Athene to the Acropolis.46 The peplos was traditionally brightly colored47 woven wool, decorated with pictures in the style of tapestry.48 One common traditional subject matter was Athene overcoming Enceladus during the battle of the Gods and Giants.49

The festival and procession date at least to the seventh century BCE.50 When the Greater Panathenaia developed, the traditions of the Lesser Panathenaia would be contained within those of the Greater during the years it was celebrated. 51

Panathenaia ta Megala (Greater Panathenaia)

Beginning around 566 BCE, athletic and other contests were attached to the Lesser Panathenaia every four years for the longer Greater Panathenaia,52 celebrated in the third year of each Olympiad.53 The Greater Panathenaia contains the Lesser within it each time it is celebrated and has the same day, 28 Hekatombaion, as its chief and final day.54 The games were probably founded by Hippocleides, the archon during 566/5 BCE, and the festival was later further developed by Peisistratus.55 It was Peisistratus who set rules for competitive recitation by the rhapsodes of Homer’s works, an event which did not occur at Delphi or Olympia and may have affected the transmission of the poems.56

Those placing in athletic competitions received as their prizes olive oil from the sacred olive trees, contained in a Panathenaic amphora (pottery jar) with a picture of the contest won on the back and a picture of an armored Athene with the inscription “From the games at Athens” on the front.57 Musicians and rhapsodes received money prizes and gilded crowns of wild olive.58

The celebration of the Panathenaia is remarkable in that itis shown on the frieze of the Parthenon in the only such depiction on a Greek temple of a then-modern ritual and not events of legend.59

Additional Online Resources


Back of Panathenaic amphora at <http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ho/04/eusb/hod_14.130.12.htm>

Front of Panathenaic amphora at <http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/athl/hod_07.286.79.htm>
Back of Panathenaic amphora at <http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/athl/hod_16.71.htm>

Further Reading

List of festivals and sacrifices at <http://www.numachi.com/~ccount/hmepa/Notes.html>
Part of the HMEPA calendar at <http://www.numachi.com/~ccount/hmepa/>
— A well-researched compilation of resources into a modern adaptation of the Athenian calendar

Entry on the Panathenaia in A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities from the Perseus Project’s website at <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0063;query=id%3D%235048;layout=;loc=pamboeotia-cn>
— An extensive article on both the Greater and Lesser Panathenaias

SourcesCollapse )
EndnotesCollapse )
14th-Jun-2006 03:39 pm - Poem: Sing to Me
~Sing to Me~

Sing to me
Drown out the wind’s angry cries
The sound of the rain
Let me hear that voice once more
That can hold off the storm
With just its memory

I wrote the above poem a few years ago, when I was thinking of a poem whose words I had lost but whose stormy image was still with me. I remembered how, when things were quite difficult for me, I could never get the feel of Brigid's voice out of my head. It was Her voice that brought me peace and comfort amidst the storm that filled much of the rest of my life at the time.
6th-Jun-2006 12:23 pm - One more summer project
I have started research on Tarot card meanings and possibly symbolism for Rider-Waite-based decks, which I hope to complete by the end of the summer.

My research on the Athenian calendar and its festivals in on track for me to have an article written about the first month's festivals and have its dates calculated before it begins soon after the solstice.

Research on the Egyptian calendar has hit a temporary roadblock until I can acquire a resource from a different library. I will probably write something up either on how I came to the decision to start the year when I did or on the mythological basis for the 5 epagomenal days soon.
1st-Jun-2006 11:52 pm - Update and reorganization
I've finally added a bio to my user info. I have also redone how my various notes filters work. They contain the same content as before (though my [notes: runes] has been changed to [notes: divination]), but the entries on them will be backdated and therefore will not show up on anyone's friends pages. I'll be posting when I start on a new project so that anyone interested in seeing my research on it will know that I will be making [notes] entries without cluttering up everyone on the filter's friends page with entry after entry of sometimes similar information.

I'll also note that at this time, I'm currently researching the Athenian (being the most preserved Greek) and Egyptian calendar systems.
23rd-May-2006 04:12 pm - References Arranged by Subject
References Arranged by Subject
Library of Congress call numbers follow each entry in []s

* This list is likely to change quite frequently.


Athenian (Greek)

Fairbanks, Arthur. A Handbook of Greek Religion. New York: American Book Company, 1910. [BL781 .F3]

Hannah, Robert. Greek & Roman Calendars. London: Duckworth, 2005. [CE42 .H36 2005]

Kelly, Aidan, Peter Dresser, and Linda M. Ross. Religious Holidays and Calendars: an Encyclopedic Handbook. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, Inc., 1993. 24-28. [CE6 .K45 1993]

Meritt, Benjamin D. The Athenian Year. Los Angeles: University of California P, 1961. [CE42 .M42]

Pritchett, W. Kendrick. Athenian Calendars and Ekklesias. Amsterdam: J.C. Gieben, 2001. [CE42 .P752 2001]

Pritchett, W. Kendrick. "The Athenian Lunar Month." Classical Philology 54.3 (1959): 151-157. JSTOR. 22 May 2006 <http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0009-837x%28195907%2954%3a3%3c151%3atalm%3e2.0.co%3b2-p>.

Thomson, George. "The Greek Calendar." The Journal of Hellenic Studies 63 (1943): 52-65. JSTOR. 22 May 2006 <http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0075-4269%281943%2963%3c52%3atgc%3e2.0.co%3b2-8>.


Casperson, Lee W. "The Lunar Dates of Thutmose III." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 45.2 (1986): 139-150. JSTOR. 22 May 2006 <http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-2968%28198604%2945%3a2%3c139%3atldoti%3e2.0.co%3b2-n>.

Frankfort, H. "State Festivals in Egypt and Mesopotamia." Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institudes 15.1 (1952): 1-12. JSTOR. 22 May 2006 <http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0075-4390%281952%2915%3a1%2f2%3c1%3asfieam%3e2.0.co%3b2-4>.

Hayes, William C. "Inscriptions From the Palace of Amenhotep III." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 10.2 (1951): 82-112. JSTOR. 22 May 2006 <http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-2968%28195104%2910%3a2%3c82%3aiftpoa%3e2.0.co%3b2-7>.

Parker, Richard A. "Ancient Egyptian Astronomy." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A ser. 276.1257 (1974): 51-65. JSTOR. 22 May 2006 <http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0080-4614%2819740502%29276%3a1257%3c51%3aaea%3e2.0.co%3b2-6>.

Parker, Richard A. "The Beginning of the Lunar Month in Ancient Egypt." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 29.4 (1970): 217-220. JSTOR. 22 May 2006 <http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-2968%28197010%2929%3a4%3c217%3atbotlm%3e2.0.co%3b2-n>.

Ray, J. D. The Archive of Hor. Ed. T.g. H. James. London: Egypt Exploration Society, 1976. [PJ1829 .R3 40]

Spalinger, Anthony. "The Limitations of Formal Ancient Egyptian Religion." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 57.4 (1998): 241-260. JSTOR. 22 May 2006 <http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-2968%28199810%2957%3a4%3c241%3atlofae%3e2.0.co%3b2-y>.


Smyth, Daragh. A Guide to Irish Mythology. Portland, OR: Irish Academic P, 1996. [BL900 .S495 1996]

Squire, Charles. Celtic Myth & Legend, Poetry & Romance. London: Gresham Company, 1910. [BL900 .S6 1910]

Stewart, R. J. Celtic Gods, Celtic Goddesses. London: Blandford, 1990. [BL900 .S77 1990]


Aset (Isis)

Ray, J. D. The Archive of Hor. Ed. T.g. H. James. London: Egypt Exploration Society, 1976. [PJ1829 .R3 40]

Djehuty (Thoth)

Foster, John L., trans. Hymns, Prayers, and Songs: an Anthology of Ancient Egyptian Lyric Poetry. Atlanta, Georgia: Scholars P, 1995. 147-148. Ed. Susan Tower Hollis. [PJ1945 .H95 1995]

Ray, J. D. The Archive of Hor. Ed. T.g. H. James. London: Egypt Exploration Society, 1976. [PJ1829 .R3 40]
20th-Jul-2005 02:31 pm - Organization
Contained within this LJ are the writings and research of a young Pagan woman who currently classifies herself as an eclectic Wiccan due to the diversity of the deities calling her to Their service. A more detailed introduction can be found in my user info.

I shall be maintaining two separate sets of filters.

The first set, based on content, are to keep anyone not interested in some segment of my notes from seeing them on my LJ. I shall be backdating all of my entries of this sort except for an initial entry when I start a new project so that I don't clutter people's friends pages over much.

Anyone who wishes to be added to any of my content-based filters should comment and tell me which filters.

Current content-based filters:
  • notes (contains all of the following filters)

  • notes: Celtic

  • notes: Egyptian

  • notes: Greek

  • notes: Norse

  • notes: Roman

  • notes: divination

The second set of filters, based on my desire for privacy, I will maintain as I see fit, generally adding people to the highest filter I feel comfortable with at the time I friend them. Each is a subset of the lower ones, and you may ask that I consider adding you to a higher filter, but I may or may not choose to do so at that time or at a later time. Entries on these filters will be marked in the subject line, and I ask that the information contained therein not make its way to anywhere else while connected to my name or to any of my entires on lower filters.

Current privacy-based filters:
  • low
  • med
  • high

Note: This page shall be updated as necessary, so the information contained herein is subject to change.
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